Like yoga, you’ve probably heard of its equally trendy cousin, Pilates. Developed in the 1920s by Joseph Pilates, Pilates involves a range of different stretches, balances and other exercises with an aim to build core strength and improve general fitness.
Participants will usually attend Pilates sessions within a calm studio space, where, like yoga, there is also an emphasis on the connection between body and mind for general wellbeing as well as physical fitness.
While the popularity of pilates is unquestionable, some might dismiss the exercise as old-fashioned in favour of more modern forms of intense workouts, but did you know that Pilates is actually one of the most powerful ways to build muscle tone and flexibility, recover from injury and improve your mental health?
We’re here to dispel the rumours you might have heard about Pilates; here are 5 fresh new reasons to get started with this amazing exercise program.
1 - Anyone Can Do It
Forget the stereotypes you might be used to: Pilates isn’t just for elderly women. The exercise program is an incredibly versatile form of exercise and can be adjusted to suit all ages and fitness levels. Anyone and everyone from young athletes to busy parents can benefit from Pilates. When starting out, most people find it useful to attend a Pilates session run by a professional instructor. For those who exercise regularly, Pilates can easily be modified to match your skills level, while less experienced people can enjoy a gentler start to Pilates.
2 - It Aids Weight Loss
Contrary to what you might think, Pilates is a full body workout. The initial focus of the regime is on building core strength and improving posture. Unlike traditional forms of strength training, Pilates targets muscles by elongating them, which builds lean body mass and develops flexibility and balance. Pilates may seem slow and gentle, but the program is actually a sure-fire way to burn calories and increase heart rate - both of which are vital for weight loss. If you’re looking to drop a few pounds and tone up in the process, Pilates is a fantastic way to get started on your weight loss journey.
3 - It Reduces Stress
Pilates is more than just physical exercise. The emphasis on the connection between body and mind, and on breathing and centering yourself, are key elements for learning how to properly control your body’s movements. Pilates gently teaches you how to stay mentally composed in order to get the most out of your body: this helps to relieve stress and promote a calm mental state - Pilates is a great way to stay healthy in both body and mind.
4 - It’s A Great Form of Physical Therapy
Because Pilates is so easy to adjust to the needs of the individual, it is also a great form of physical therapy for those suffering from aches and pains or injuries. Many clinics offer Pilates as part of their physical therapy programs to help people deal with chronic neck and back pain, aid the healing of hip and knee replacements, and encourage the healing of sports injuries.
5 - You Can Do It Anywhere
You don’t always have to attend classes to enjoy all the benefits of Pilates. Life is hectic, and it can be tricky to fit in dedicated exercises sessions if it means trips to the gym. Pilates is a great option for busy people as you can do it from the comfort of your own home. Also, you don’t need lots of expensive equipment to reap the benefits of the program. Without the need for weights or any specific environment, you can do the regime anywhere, with anyone, wearing anything.
Forget what you think you know about Pilates and why not give the tried-and-tested program a go today and start enjoying a healthier and happier lifestyle.