How Does Pilates Benefit You?
Pilates continues to grow as a preferred form of exercise regime to promote long-term physical health. Its popularity has also risen sharply during social distancing, with a lot of people working out from home. While it’s incredibly beneficial to improve flexibility and alignment and core strength, it can help you lose weight.
How does it help you get in shape & lose weight?
Pilates is a form of low-impact exercise which includes a series of exercises to improve strength, balance, flexibility and mobility. A principal focus is to strengthen the core also known as your “powerhouse” which is not only limited to abs but also includes the back, pelvic floor and the hips. While the exercise greatly benefits the core, the overall effects can also be seen on other body parts as it helps tone and lengthen and strengthen muscles and thus can contribute to your weight loss regime should that be a goal.
A consistent Pilates practice also benefits your overall health and fitness in the following ways:
- Maintaining a good posture and improving the body’s balance
Since a lot of exercises in Pilates are about keeping your spine straight and keeping your body aligned, it gets the body into a proper “Pilates posture”. Balance is a combination of physical posture and the mind being aware of the body’s movements.
Pilates through its breathing techniques combined with exercises makes us conscious of our body movements along with developing a proper posture. Both collectively result in improving the body’s balance and helping you to lose weight.
- Achieving abs and toned muscles
Pilates is a full body exercise regime. While it’s known for mainly focusing on core strength, through its various exercises, Pilates also includes a series of exercises designed to improve overall strength and flexibility. Not only will you strengthen your core muscles but with a consistent practice, you should see improve muscle tone in your arms, legs and calves and glutes.
- Improves flexibility and relieves back pain
As we tend to become less flexible with age, Pilates can help regain flexibility through its slow stretching movements. Through stretching movements, our body is challenged in a gentle way and it leads to better flexibility. Pilates also includes exercises to improve the alignment of your spine. As we say a healthy spine leads to a healthy life! Since Pilates also focuses on strengthening and improving flexibility in your legs, it may serve to help reduce pain in joints.
- Reduces stress and enhances mind-body balance
As Pilates includes breathing techniques, we become conscious of our breath and focus on nothing other than our breathing. It can work towards making us calm, centered and ultimately help reduce stress.
Pilates is a combination of exercises and breathing techniques that leads to better results not only physically but also mentally. Improving our posture, flexibility and strength benefits us physically and reducing stress helps and int turn, improve concentration leading to an overall improvement of both mind and body.
Watching your weight? Remember this
Do remember that even though Pilates can help a person in shape, it is not necessarily designed to be an intensive high cardio-type workout. Combining Pilates with other aerobic activities like walking, cycling or swimming can help you see the difference and lose weight in a good manner.
The bottom line; It’s a common notion that only dancers and athletes practice Pilates but anyone can start it to achieve a mind-body balance for their overall wellbeing. If you have an illness, are pregnant or haven’t exercised in a while, it’s best to consult with your doctor before starting any new fitness regime.