Being a Business woman, I am travelling a lot. Taking care of my body is very important to me and my favorite movement is practicing Pilates.
Pilates is more than just a workout. Any person who’s been doing it for at least a couple of months knows that Pilates doesn’t only sculpt your body but it also clears your mind and gives you energy and inner serenity.
I have been practicing and teaching Pilates for almost 22 years. I’ve seen changes in my body and mind as well as observed the same transformations in my clients and students. But the most amazing part happens when students start seeing changes not only in their bodies but also in their minds, in their emotions and in their lives altogether. I’m partial, of course, but Pilates is a true miracle tool.
I’ve collected some scientifically proven benefits of Pilates:
1.Pilates relieves stress tension in your body. Pilates relieves tension built up in the muscles through gentle stretching and gradual conditioning. When you get stress out of your body, you also get it out of your mind.
2. Pilates trains your brain. If you start to automatize your workout (like running on a treadmill while watching TV, doing reps at the gym without focusing on your form or flying through the same Yoga sequence every week) you cut the benefit of your workout in half (not even mentioning that you double the risk of an injury.) Learning a new movement or a new modification in a Pilates routine provides just the effect we are looking for by challenging the body and mind at the same time.
3. Deeper muscle activation means better function of the nervous system. When you learn to voluntary engage certain muscles (like deep core activation in Pilates) you fire a movement chain that might have been asleep for a long time. Did you know that your core consists of 29 muscles and not just a six-pack? Learning to use them is a cleansing rinse for your nervous system. A healthy nervous system means better communication between your brain and other parts of your body as well as the release of stress-fighting and mood-boosting hormones.
4. Pilates creates long, strong muscles. In Pilates, we are building toned muscles that work well both with our body as a whole.
5. Pilates develops core strength. The core muscles of the body are the deep muscles of the back, abdomen, and pelvic floor. These muscles support a strong, supple back, good posture, and efficient movement patterns. Pilates involves a variety of abdominal exercises, which help to improve not only the strength of the core muscles but also their endurance.
6. Pilates improves posture. Good posture is a reflection of good alignment supported by a strong core. It is a position from which the body can move freely. Starting with Pilates movement fundamentals and progressing through mat and equipment exercises, Pilates trains the body to express itself with strength and harmony.
7. Pilates Can Promote Weight Loss. If you practice Pilates regularly, it will change your body. Known for creating long, strong muscles, Pilates improves your muscle tone, balances musculature, supports beautiful posture, and teaches you to move with ease and grace. All of these things can make you look and feel very fit. The formula for weight loss requires burning more calories than you take in. As a full-body fitness method, Pilates can help you do that. Combined with aerobic activity and a healthy eating plan, Pilates becomes a prime weight loss and body toning tool.
8. Pilates is for Everyone! Whether you are an older adult just starting to exercise, an elite athlete, or somewhere in between, the foundations of Pilates movement apply to you and your body. The focus on building core strength, proper alignment, and the body-mind connection make Pilates accessible to all. With thousands of possible exercises and modifications, Pilates workouts can be tailored to individual needs.
9. Pilates Increases Flexibility. In Pilates, we work toward a safe increase in length and stretch of the muscles and range of motion within the joints.
10. Pilates Increases Energy. Pilates has got its own breathing technique. Pilates gets the breath and circulation moving, stimulates the spine and muscles, and floods the body with the good feelings you get from exercising the whole body. The more you exercise, the more energy you have. And the more energized you are, the more you’ll feel like doing your exercise routine. Pilates is a great low-impact form of exercise that can be incorporated into your daily routine.
Check out my Pilates video and practice with me!
Editor-In-Chief, Pilates Master Trainer