Pilates is a modern fitness regime that blends traditional cardio with yoga poses. It’s a dynamic way to improve flexibility, focus, and reduce mental and physical tension. Pilates supports metabolic function and, as exercise, simply promotes overall health. Here are 5 benefits of practicing pilates:
1. Flexibility Boost
The slow, controlled movements that define Pilates can significantly increase flexibility in its practitioners, and many people begin their practice of this fitness style specifically for this benefit. Over time, the body’s muscles can adapt to the demands being placed on it, so regular Pilates time can easily lengthen and stretch the muscles by improving the range of motion in many joints.
2. Posture Protection
The fundamental movements and positions for Pilates exercises, as well as the mat and band exercises, promote proper posture for extended periods, and it is only through proper body posture that full energy circulation and Pilates benefits can occur. You will often see the graceful and smooth movements of Pilates practitioners who let that posture boost last far beyond the walls of the studio or gym.
3. Core Strength
Although Pilates is a physical activity that is appropriate for everyone, it will require a decent amount of core strength once you get beyond the very basic levels. This is the source of our endurance and stability, and many of the exercises in this fitness regimen are designed to test your core strength and push it to the limit – all in a controlled and methodical way. When the core of your body is strong and stable, it will reduce the strain on your shoulders, spin, neck, and joints, allowing you freer and more elegant movement.
4. Stress Reliever
Clearing your mind for a long meditation session is a bit similar to what is done in Pilates. The amount of focus and concentration you need to control your body’s movements and ensure a safe and efficient flow of energy can push any other thoughts out of your mind. This can help reduce stress, while the yoga-like movements and exertion of the workout can help to detoxify the body and re-balance your levels of stress hormones. This is one of the keys to the body-mind connection that Joseph Pilates proposed as the end goal of his fitness method.
5. Chronic Pain Management
One of the proven uses of Pilates is to eliminate back pain and chronic inflammation in certain joints by increasing strength and flexibility. Many people use this fitness style to ward off chronic pain, such as from an old injury or surgery. By ensuring that your body’s systems are optimized, but avoiding high-impact exercises, you can continue strengthening parts of the body without the risk of re-injuring them, thus warding off chronic pain.