So you’ve over indulged at Christmas, put on a few pounds and now you’re having that internal pep talk about getting healthier and fitter for the New Year. So why not include Pilates as part of your exercise programme? Pilates has exploded over the last few years with millions of people discovering the benefits of Pilates and its popularity is still growing. Why? Because it is a gentle, controlled system that strengthens the core, improves posture, stabilises the joints, improves flexibility and stretches out the entire body. From a complete beginner who has never exercised before, through to a professional athlete and everyone in between, Pilates can benefit you.
So, here are some of the benefits Pilates can offer:-
Great for Killer Abs and Core Strength
Pilates really hits your core muscles as it focuses on the deep as well as the superficial abdominal muscles and has effects on your lower back, bottom, hip and pelvic muscles. A strong core will improve your balance and enable you to move more efficiently with less risk of injury and will help with your everyday tasks such as carrying heavy items and picking up your shopping.
As well as helping you to better your body frame, core training also helps to achieve those flat abs that we all crave for.
Improves Your Posture
Poor posture forms as a result of bad habits such as slouching at your desk which can eventually cause backache, neck ache, headache, etc. The bad habits will result in asymmetrical muscle development where some muscles are weaker than others. Pilates can help to strengthen those underdeveloped muscles and get rid of bad posture.
It’s a Good Workout for your Entire Body
Even though the main focus is on your core strength, Pilates also plays a part in developing a full-body workout. It ensures that no specific muscle is overdeveloped or under developed, elongating and stretching your muscles and giving you that perfect lean body you are looking for.
It was Joseph Pilates who said: “true flexibility can be achieved only when all muscles are uniformly developed.”
So rather than saying you can’t do Pilates because you are not flexible enough, you should actually participate in Pilates exercises to help improve your flexibility.
Places no Pressure on your Joints
Since Pilates consists of slow and controlled movement, there is minimal impact on your joints. This is naturally ideal for those who cannot (or do not want to) take part in high-impact sports and exercises.
Pain and bad posture can add to your stress levels and not only does Pilates help alleviate those problems, it also works to calm you. As Pilates focuses on breathing, you become mindful of your breath, of your body and muscles, and it becomes like a form of meditation. You’ll enjoy better sleep once you start doing regular Pilates, partly because it is calming but also because your body isn’t full of physical or psychological tension.
Improves your Sports Performance
Many sportsmen and women find that their bodies are misaligned due to the one-sided nature of certain sports e.g. swinging a tennis racquet or golf clubs. As Pilates helps to balance your body, develop muscular symmetry and align your posture, sportsmen and women find that Pilates can help to reduce the likelihood of injuries.
Pilates is for Everyone
It doesn’t matter if you are young or old, fit or out of shape, flexible or not, Pilates is an exercise regime which can benefit everyone.
So why not start the New Year by joining a regular Pilates class?