Would you like to improve your flexibility, increase your core strength, improve your posture and release stress and tension? Then Pilates is for you. Pilates has become one of the most popular exercise methods in the world - and that is because it works. People try it out for various reasons - to help with back problems, to reduce stress or to take up some exercise - and then they keep on doing it because they feel the benefits in improved mobility, fewer back problems, fewer aches and pains, improved body awareness and a greater sense of well-being.
Good reasons to do Pilates
1. Pilates helps your body return to moving more naturally
We all have imbalances in our bodies - some muscles that are stronger than others, some muscles that are weaker or tighter. These imbalances develop through (usually unconscious) postural habits and repeated activities, for example sitting at a computer for long hours or driving a lot. Eventually these muscular imbalances can lead to aches and pains and discomfort, and in the longer term even wear and tear on your joints. Pilates helps to counteract these imbalances by strengthening weaker muscles and lengthening and releasing tighter ones. Through improving muscle balance and also by helping you to become more aware of how you are using your body, Pilates helps to improve your posture, enabling your body to return to moving more naturally.
2. Pilates helps build core strength
Pilates focuses in particular on strengthening deep core muscles - the muscles that help to stabilise and support your body as it moves. For example, the core muscles that help to support your spine and back as you lift heavy objects, protecting against injury and helping to keep your back strong.
3. Pilates is recommended by medical specialists for those with back problems
Through increasing core strength, improving posture, releasing tension in muscles and improving body awareness, Pilates can help with rehabilitation after injury and can also help to prevent injury.
4. Pilates makes you feel better
As you do Pilates your mind becomes focused on your body and your breathing. This helps to clear your head, relax your body and calm your mind. With a bit of practice, you find after a Pilates session that you are calmer, more focused, more connected to your body and more conscious of how you are using it. In this way, Pilates helps to release the stresses and strains of everyday living both physically and mentally.
5. Pilates makes you look better
By improving your posture you automatically look longer and leaner. Slouching does not enhance your appearance! In addition, Pilates tones muscles without adding bulk and improves circulation which is good for your whole body including your skin.
6. Pilates is suitable for you whatever your level of fitness
The beauty of the Body Control Pilates® method is that you can work at your own level and still benefit greatly from Pilates. Some people stay at the easiest level, perhaps because of an injury, and continue to get a lot out of classes, while others want to progress to the more advanced levels and prefer a more challenging workout.
7. Pilates is perfect for post-natal recovery
For those who have recently had a baby, Pilates helps your body recover from the effects of pregnancy and birth. It helps you to regain your pre-pregnancy shape and to improve and regain muscle tone. In particular, it helps your pelvic floor to recover from pregnancy and birth. In addition, it helps your body to release tension and aches and pains incurred in lifting and carrying your baby, feeding and changing nappies.
®Body Control Pilates is a registered trademark used under licence.