Now that we are starting to return to a new normality, the main holiday period is coming to an end and the children are returning to school, time to look at your own routine and get yourself back on track with your exercise regime. Below are 8 great reasons why you should incorporate Pilates into your routine. And if you don’t feel comfortable returning to a class just yet, consider joining a live streaming class on line instead which can be done from the comfort of your own home.
DEVELOPS A STRONG AND EFFICIENT CORE
Having a strong core goes further than just toning your abdominals. In Pilates, the core consists of the deep abdominal muscles along with the muscles closest to the spine. Control of the core is achieved by integrating the trunk, pelvis and shoulder girdle. When your trunk is strong, it can help decrease back and hip pain. It also reduces your risk of injury in movements such as lifting or bending down, whether performed in daily life or in a particular sport.
Poor posture is a common cause of muscular pain and stiffness in the body. In Pilates, there is an emphasis on using proper alignment during the exercises to improve postural issues such as cervical or thoracic kyphosis (rounding of the neck or shoulders) and lumbar lordosis (swayback). If you find yourself sitting at a desk for long periods of time, or bending over a laptop, tablet or even your mobile phone, you may begin to feel a strain in your shoulders, neck or upper back which will pull the body out of alignment if not corrected.
ENHANCES SPORTS PERFORMANCE AND REDUCES RISK OF INJURY
If you are a sports enthusiast or athlete, Pilates can help improve your performance and decrease the risk of injury. Many sports such as racket sports or golf use repetitive movements that use one side of the body eventually causing an imbalance in your muscles which can lead to pain. Pilates will help to re-balance these muscles. A strong core and joints will also help to stabilise your body when moving so as to reduce the risk of injury and to help you recover from injury more quickly.
REDUCES BACK PAIN
1 in 10 people suffer with lower back pain globally with 2.5 million people suffering with back pain every day of the year in the UK. Did you know Pilates is often prescribed as a remedy for back pain as it strengthens the abdominals and all of the muscles of the trunk. When your back or abdominals are weak, it can cause imbalances in the body which in turn leads to pain.
HELPS REDUCE SYMPTOMS OF ARTHRITIS
Arthritis is an inflammatory condition of the joints which can affect the quality of life. Pilates helps to get the blood circulating through the body which promotes less inflammation in the joints. Arthritis can also lead to the joints becoming weakened as well and Pilates can help strengthen those joints to help you stay mobile in your daily life.
IMPROVES BALANCE AND CO-ORDINATION
Balance and co-ordination are important skills but as we age they tend to diminish. Pilates incorporates exercises to challenge your balance and help maintain and improve it. A strong core will also play a major role in maintaining poise and balance.
INCREASES MOBILITY AND FLEXIBILITY
When an area of the body is tight or weak, it can affect the entire body. For example, if the front of the shoulders is tight, it can cause the upper back to round and the neck to tilt forward. This condition restricts mobility and decreases motor skills because the head is not completely upright, causing stress in the neck and shoulders. The same can be said for other areas of the body. The lower back and hamstrings are two other common places where lack of flexibility can cause issues such as pelvic tilt disorders and back pain. In order for the one side of the body to lift, contract or stabilise, the other side must elongate and stretch. Pilates exercises help to re-balance the body and lengthens the muscle fibres, gently strengthening, lengthening and stretching the muscles.
HELPS TO RELIEVE STRESS AND TENSION
Joseph Pilates who developed Pilates worked on the principle of using fewer, more precise movements requiring control and technique. This demands more concentration and as you need to keep focused when practising Pilates, it encourages the mind from whirring from one subject to another. By the end of the session you should feel calmer in both mind and body.