Top 11 Benefits of Pilates: Why It Is Good For Your Health
After twisting my ankle at the end of a particularly gruelling workout, I became determined to improve my flexibility and coordination. The reason for my clumsy accident was a mixture of having the balance of a baby and leg fatigue from heavy weights, and something needed to change.
Following thorough research, I decided to try something new, so I opted for a bi-weekly reformer Pilates class with the best pilates instructor. After just ten weeks I definitely felt more balanced, but I also noticed several other key improvements in my entire body and how I felt mentally.
The Pilates repertoire, which includes mat and specialized equipment exercises, is made up of over 600 exercises and variations. There’s something for everyone, whether you have a sedentary lifestyle, are a weekend warrior, pregnant women, are undergoing rehab, have anxiety, or you’re a professional athlete.
It is a low-impact workout effective at strengthing, lengthening, and toning your muscles through controlled, repetitive movements. There are many advantages to incorporating Pilates into your workout routine from increased strength to improved posture.
Here is how Pilates exercises transformed my body – and my mind. Read on to discover some of the biggest benefits.
What is pilates?
Originally called “Contrology,” Pilates is a method of whole-body exercise routine designed to improve daily activities, livelihood and physical and mental health.
Though there is an emphasis on core strengthening work, a strong core alone is not the end goal. Rather, using that core strength to develop functional and sustainable movement patterns throughout the body is the goal.
Created in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates, the exercises coordinate movement and breath together to work the smaller and deeper stabilizing muscles of the body as much as your prime movers.
Pilates aligns your entire body’s overall structure and supports its joints. The optimal strength gained from a consistent Pilates practice is nonrigid, balancing strength with mobility and flexibility. It helps you move and breathe through your daily activities with more freedom and power and less pain.
What are the benefits of Pilates?
Whatever way you get your Pilates fix, read on for seven great results you’ll take away. Then go hit the studio ASAP.
1. Strengthens core muscles
The core muscles are the most important muscle group in our bodies because they control our posture, balance and stability while standing, sitting, walking or running. They also help hold us up when we are lifting weights or performing other exercises that require us to hold a position for a long period of time with proper alignment.
Improving the core muscles will help you to move more efficiently with less stress on your body as well as help you improve your posture. This will not only make you feel better, but it will also help prevent future injuries and pain in your joints and back.
2. Improves blood circulation and balance
Pilates training works the deep muscles of the core which helps improve circulation in your whole body. As you master each exercise, you will be able to feel the difference in your lower back and legs after a session. Your lower back will feel less stiff and more supple, which means that it has more flexibility than before. You can also experience a sense of balance when standing from one foot to another because of the increased strength in these muscles.
Because most of us spend so much time sitting down at work or at home without moving around, it is important to practice exercises that increase circulation throughout our bodies because this can lead to reduced flexibility as well as tightness or pain in our joints, especially if we do not regularly stretch these areas out before starting a Pilates routine.
3. Improves posture
As you exercise, you strengthen the muscles throughout your body and improve posture at the same time. As a result, your back will be stronger and less likely to spasm or develop painful knots or bulges that can lead to serious pain over time. Pilates also improves balance, reducing the risk of falls in older adults who may already have poor posture. It’s a great way to maintain good posture at any age!
Pilates exercise strengthens your body core, which is responsible for keeping your body upright, as well as the muscles of your legs and arms. Working these muscles helps you to maintain better balance and reduce the risk of falls.
4. Reduces back pain
Many people experience back pain during pregnancy and after delivery due to the added weight of the baby, but Pilates can help!
The controlled movements of Pilates increase strength in the muscles throughout your body, including those in your abdomen, pelvic floor and back, which can help relieve back pain.
A 2012 study found that women who participated in Pilates regularly had less lower-back pain after they gave birth than women who didn’t participate in any exercise program during their pregnancy. In addition to helping with back pain during pregnancy, Pilates is also helpful after delivery as it strengthens the abdominal muscles that support your growing uterus as well as any remaining stitches or staples from your C-section incision.
Some people worry that Pilates will be too strenuous during pregnancy, but it’s actually a great way to maintain your strength and flexibility while you’re expecting. As with any exercise program, it’s important to check with your doctor before starting a Pilates program, especially if you’re not used to exercising. Be sure to talk about your exercise plans with him or her and follow any recommendations for reducing or eliminating certain types of exercise during pregnancy.
5. Lose weight
Practising pilates is a great way to lose weight, as it encourages you to use your own body weight for resistance. Working with your own body weight increases the intensity of the workout, allowing you to burn more calories and fat than other forms of exercise. People who participated in Pilates sessions for 12 weeks lost an average of 20 pounds.
6. Prevents injuries
When done correctly Pilates can also help improve the overall strength and flexibility of joints throughout the body which can assist with preventing injuries from occurring in different areas of our bodies. Pilates is a low-impact workout, that prevents injuries like pulled muscles, sore shoulder joints and back pain.
You will not feel as if your body is being pushed to the limit. You can do them even if you have a chronic injury or are recovering from an operation. It’s a great workout for beginners
7. Enhances body awareness
You will become more aware of your body and the way it moves. This will help you to correct any imbalances in your body. You’ll be able to work on strengthening those areas that are weak or need a little extra attention.
8. Decreases stress and anxiety
Pilates can help you achieve a relaxed state of mind and create a more positive outlook on life. It helps you clear your mind of worries as it helps you focus on your breathing. It is a great way to build self-confidence
By practising Pilates, you will learn how to control your body and work towards achieving goals. With this newfound self-control, you will learn how to manage stress and anxiety in everyday situations.
9. Menstrual cramps are reduced
Pilates workout is a great way to reduce menstrual pain in the lower back. As you progress through the Pilates program, you will learn how to strengthen the muscles in your back with each exercise. By strengthening these muscles, you will be able to alleviate pain and discomfort during your period.
10. Improves sleep quality
Many people who suffer from insomnia report that they wake up less during the night and have more restful sleep when they use Pilates as a form of therapy.
11. Improves your postpartum body image
Pilates helps you to feel great about your body after you give birth because it strengthens your core muscles and improves the appearance of your chest and waist. You’ll also have a more defined separation between your ribs if you practice Pilates regularly. Women who participated in a Pilates program for six months had an improved body image after giving birth!