WHAT IS PILATES AND ARE BENEFITS OF PILATES?
As we discuss and explore more and more, it can feel like there are an increasing amount of new fitness trends, some of which we have studied in a recent blog post; if you’re intrigued by the newness of the fitness world, however, there is a reason the classics are classics, and that’s because they have been proven to get results. Pilates is one of those fitness programmes that have been around for a long time, the 1920s actually — I can’t quite picture Gatsby doing Pilates, though! Joseph Pilates was a carpenter and gymnast who moved to New York from Germany; following the move to New York, Joseph opened a Pilates studio. Since the evolution of pilates there are now numerous benefits to making pilates part of your exercise routine!
As an exercise, Pilates concentrates on strengthening your body with core strength heavily focused upon. Many see the discipline as similar to Yoga; Pilates concentrates on posture, balance and flexibility. Pilates exercise is made up of using mats and specialised equipment that is designed to target different muscle groups. The chances of injury during Pilates are also extremely low compared to other forms of exercise, so it can also be helpful for a rehab technique — the process of achieving fully functioning movement following an injury.
So, why should you consider partaking in Pilates or, better yet, becoming a qualified pilates teacher? Below we have listed what we know to be the top 7 pilates benefits!
THE 7 BENEFITS OF PILATES
1. INCREASES STRENGTH
The main focus of most pilates movements is to keep the core engaged, as it is the centre of the body and helps stabilise the body when doing the typical Pilates exercises. By strengthening the core, you will find your body capable of doing more strength-based activities.
2. IMPROVES POSTURE
A poor posture can contribute to weak muscles, shoulder and back pain, and even headaches!
Pilates is about lengthening your muscles and improving static strength, so the significant benefit is improving your posture. In Pilates, you learn about the correct spine positioning and how to support yourself with your legs, glutes and core, thus improving your posture.
3. INCREASES IN ENERGY
Much like yoga, Pilates focuses on breathing, which aids the improvement of cardiorespiratory capacity, stimulating oxygen flow and blood circulation. Combining the focus on breath and Pilates is a low-impact exercise, so you’ll leave your pilate sessions more energised than exhausted!
4. IT ENHANCES BODY AWARENESS
Since Pilates is a mind-body practice, it enhances your attention to feel inwards and focus on the body’s sensations. It heightens your awareness of comfort or aches and pains.
Bodily awareness has also contributed to helping those reduce their overeating habit as they have become more aware of when the body is hungry and when the body is full.
5. DECREASE STRESS
When doing exercise, chemicals are released, such as endorphins, ultimately increasing your mood and reducing your stress. The beauty of most exercises, including Pilates, is that you can completely switch off from day-to-day life and sole focus on the movement, which also aids the reduction of stress.
6. IMPROVEMENT IN FLEXIBILITY
As you work through a full range of motion, your muscles will become more accustomed to the correct movement patterns, increasing flexibility within those muscles, this pilates benefit is when pilates becomes a main practice in your exercise routine.
7. IMPROVMENT IN SLEEP
One of the benefits of Pilates being such a long-lasting practice is that there has been plenty of research focusing on the benefits of Pilates. Many studies have found that Pilates benefits our sleep health, especially for those under forty! (source)
BONUS PILATES BENEFIT! PILATES CAN REDUCE MENSTRUAL PAIN
Research has found that adding Pilates into your exercise routine can help reduce period pain (source). Mainly for those for suffer from the condition, Dysmenorrhea, which causes extremely painful menstruation.
Regardless of what you are looking for in an exercise routine, Pilates will deliver it to you if you are willingly making it a continuous, permeant practice. Whether you are looking to improve your mental or physical health, such as strengthening your core, leaner muscles, or showing your flexibility as a party trick, Pilates is a superb place to start due to the infinite amount of benefits in Pilates! Pilates is a well-established exercise; there will always be people looking for pilates teachers, and even supermodels like Kendall Jenner are avid pilates practitioners!
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