Are you looking to spice up your exercise routine or need something with a little less impact, try Pilates. Perhaps you’ve heard more about Pilates in the last 10 years or so but it was developed about 100 years ago by German-born Joseph Pilates. Athletes and non-athletes alike enjoy the benefits of Pilates (puh-LAH-teez) which is the system of strengthening and stretching exercises designed to develop the body’s core, mobilize the spine and build flexibility. People who partake in the practice site specific benefits such as increased flexibility, less or no joint pain, and more strength.
Similar to the practice of yoga the movements are very focused and effective at stress reduction. The main purpose of Pilates is to strengthen the core which can lead to other benefits. As a young boy Pilates was plagued with asthma and rickets. He became obsessed with the perfect body and created his form of exercise that combined the physique of the ancient Greeks with the mindfulness of Eastern practices. Due to the focus on the core the body actually gains more awareness. Most people sit at desks the majority of the day not realizing they are slouching. Through the practice of Pilates your body will catch itself in the wrong position and straighten. You’ll also have more endurance to maintain proper posture.
Additionally, people tend to gain greater body control through that heightened body awareness. Ideally, through regular Pilates sessions, your body begins to act in harmony with itself. While weight loss isn’t a huge side effect of Pilates, you will have stronger muscles and by extension you will require better nutrition to maintain your energy. Pilates has also been used, under the care of a physical therapist, as rehabilitation after injury. Elite athletes use it to improve their performance.
There are several machines (equipment) used that help provide more effective stretching and strengthening exercises. Along with bands and balls there are reformers, cadillacs, and combos (among others) that are typically found in locations that offer Pilates classes. If you’re doing home Pilates you may just have the balls and bands to start.
If you’re looking for something new or need to improve your posture and core strength give Pilates a try. If you’ve tried feel free to leave a comment below on your experience. Don’t forget to like and share this post with your community.
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