What are the benefits of Pilates?
Perhaps the best place to start is by saying that Pilates is accessible to everyone. Your age, your level of fitness or health issues are not barriers to enjoying the benefits of Pilates. Pilates provides a low impact workout, which is effective at strengthening and toning your muscles through controlled repetitive movements. Its aim is to not only improve your level of fitness, but also to improve your health, wellbeing and quality of life.
Pilates will create an evenly conditioned body by looking at your body as a whole. By providing support in a balanced way, movement is more efficient, and less stressful, which enables your daily activities to be completed with more ease.
A good strong core improves your stability, balance and flexibility. As we age, our bodies can become poorly aligned leading to a stiff neck, headaches, poor posture, rounded shoulders and a sore back. According to the Lancet (an independent, international weekly general journal), low back pain affects 80% of people at least once in their lifetime, seriously affecting their quality of life. Pilates exercises will strengthen deep postural abdominal and spinal muscles to create a strong corset of support that will help not just your back, but the whole of your body. Pilates can help you with any injuries but can also help you reduce the risk of getting those injuries in the first place. Many professional sports people and sports teams are recognising the benefits of Pilates and are introducing it into their training regimes.
As you continue with Pilates and as your core strengthens and your muscles lengthen, your posture will improve and you will start to feel taller. The action of all your body muscles working together (even your small muscles will be challenged) will mean you have better balance, more flexibility, less stiffness and much more of a connection with your body.
Pilates helps you respect your whole body not just individual parts, by learning the concept of the exercises, as you do them. It is much more than just physical movement but introduces the mind to the body. Best of all, after a Pilates class you will feel energised and invigorated. This is due to the feeling that your whole body has been conditioned.
As explained previously, due to the improvements in your core strength from Pilates, the risk of a sore back decreases as does the risk of falls and sports injuries. It prevents musculoskeletal injuries as well as injuries caused by muscle imbalance. The controlled deep breathing learned in Pilates increases lung capacity and improves circulation. It improves your autoimmune system helping you fight disease and can even help counter the degenerative effect on your brain, getting rid of ‘brain fog’, making you feel sharper and long term, reducing your risk of Alzheimer’s. Pilates can also lower your cholesterol levels and your blood pressure which will improve your cardiac health.
Mental health is an area of huge concern to everyone and various studies have shown that Pilates can help this area as well. The deep breathing focuses the mind reduces stress. The physical activity of Pilates exercise will release endorphins that will cause a positive feeling in your body and mind.
Many of the benefits of Pilates affect our well-being and our quality of life. They include, feeling more positive, better concentration, reduced anxiety and stress. It also teaches you ways to relax and improves your sleep pattern. Scientists have recently reported evidence that Pilates can enhance wellbeing as it brings about a sense of better self-confidence, self-control and the ability to rise to a challenge. However, perhaps the most important thing is it teaches you to respect and accept the body you have.
If you want to let your mind and body enjoy all the benefits of Pilates, why not try Pilates Scotland’s on demand 14 day free trial now by clicking here. You will gain instant access an extensive library of classes with new classes added every week. Make the commitment now for a healthier and happier you.