There are many reasons why people decide to start a new or improved Pilates program. The overall goal is more or less the same, which is to develop core strength, flexibility, and coordination.
Some embrace it as an important form of exercise, while others use it to improve their performance in other activities.
Pilates is closely related to yoga, and both practices use very similar principles. The focus is on a series of movements of varying difficulty designed to increase strength and improve posture, flexibility, and balance. The physiological aspect of Pilates is the study of the body’s response to prolonged and short-term exercises, which professional therapists will assess and adjust accordingly.
Pilates offers both mental and physical benefits that can improve overall health.
Benefits of Pilates for overall health
Pilates exercises are suitable for everyone of all ages and abilities. The purpose of Pilates exercises is to build strength, not muscle mass.
Controlled and progressive movements have a reduced impact on the joints; unlike many other types of movement. To use movement physiology, performers must focus on what they are doing. This includes breathing regulation and internal body resistance training.
Balance is a problem for many adults, and a lack of balance can lead to imbalances and injuries. Pilates has been shown to rapidly improve balance, which can improve performance in other sports and improve daily life.
Because Pilates requires focus, keeping the mind active and alert is a great form of exercise; something important for mental health. An example is the focus required to stand on one leg with your eyes closed.
Applied focus helps with coordination and helps build core strength through slow, controlled movements. As the individual progresses, movements become more complex, improving balance.
- Build core strength
Core strength is a must in almost everything we do. It helps improve posture, reduces injuries, and can relieve stress headaches. Of course, the aesthetic benefits gained as a by-product extend far beyond straight abdominis (abs).
In medical terms, primary strength is “the body’s ability to maintain proper spinal alignment, shoulder girdle position, and pelvic position while moving the limbs.”
Muscles used to stabilize the core are classified as local or global. Muscles such as the abdominal muscles are called global muscles and are usually located close to the surface of the body. The global muscles are responsible for powerful movements that require a certain level of intensity. The smaller muscles closest to the spine are used for stabilization and have a less complex but equally important role. These muscles are called local muscles and adjust to align the spine.
Pilates increases strength in both muscle groups, resulting in improved stability and flexibility; things that naturally decline with the aging process. When the body is weak, stiffness occurs in the upper and lower back, which can lead to headaches and pain. This exercise also helps to release tight hamstrings, round the shoulders and pull back the neck. increase flexibility
The hip muscles tend to be the first to lose flexibility with age. After practicing Pilates for a few weeks, most people notice an improvement in mobility. Pilates does this by lengthening and stretching your muscles, contracting them, and giving you a sense of height. The stretches are called dynamic stretches, which means they are active movements. These stretches improve range of motion, help prevent injuries, and improve overall health.
- Mental health
Most forms of exercise support mental health and fitness. Exercise is known to release endorphins, which create a better mood and increase self-confidence and self-control. Another benefit of Pilates is the focus on controlled breathing, which naturally provides a calming sensation.
Breathing exercises can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, improve blood flow, and promote better sleep patterns. it relieves stress. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, the “feel-good chemicals” that make you feel happy.
A Pilates workout can improve mood and energy levels. When you leave a Pilates class, you’ll feel more energized, and your breathing patterns will improve. Pilates uses conscious body movements and fluidity to build strength and flexibility. Mindful movement helps relieve tension; therefore, it is good for the mind and body.
- Body awareness
The Pilates method focuses on maintaining focus, proper posture, and breathing patterns. It allows the practitioner to fully understand their body. “It transforms how you look when you work out in your everyday life,” says celebrity Pilates teacher Siri Dharma Galliano.
Inner awareness and the ability to focus on bodily sensations increases your awareness of comfort or pain, emotions, and your surroundings.
With improved awareness, the body can better respond to stimuli and prevent injuries and falls. Being more aware of your body can also help you avoid overeating by being more attuned to your body’s hunger signals.
- Pregnant woman
Pilates exercises help your body stay healthy, flexible, and balanced. Pilates exercises include movements and positions that help develop your strength and coordination. Deep breathing and relaxation will help you control the way you exercise.
Pilates exercises help increase confidence in a woman’s body during pregnancy. Pilates during pregnancy helps maintain good health and improves the body’s effective mechanisms, preparing the body for the demands of childbirth.
Pilates also relieves common ailments such as lower back pain during pregnancy and reduces recovery time.
To wrap it up
Pilates is a challenging, low-impact exercise that balances strength and movement, tones the body, adjusts movement patterns, and strengthens the core.
If you’re looking for a different form of exercise that will not only help you lose weight, but also improve your health, Pilates may be the answer.