Where do I even start, there are so many reasons to make Pilates a regular part of your life. If you have read some of my other posts you will know how passionate I am about Pilates, so I thought it was about time I gave you a bit of a breakdown as to why I feel this way. I have already mentioned that Pilates is a great way to exercise without taking a toll on your body and there are many benefits physically, mentally and emotionally so I thought today we could explore a few of these.
You will become stronger
Let’s start with one of the most obvious, you will become stronger, leaner and more toned. One of Joseph Pilates most famous quotes is “in 10 sessions you’ll feel the difference, in 20 you’ll see the difference and in 30 you’ll have a different body”. I feel this quote says it all! Obviously these sessions need to be in close succession to each other but if you do one hour of Pilates each week for 30 weeks you will be a testament of this statement. Some people think Pilates is all about your core and while it does have a strong focus on the core, Pilates is actually a full body workout. As the Pilates repertoire is based on correct technique and alignment rather than a large number of repetitions with heavy weights you will become stronger and more toned with long lean muscles rather than short bulky muscles.
"Pilates is not only great for your body but can also have a wonderful effect on your mental wellbeing" - Jonathan L.
A good Pilate’s class will balance strengthening and stretching to leave your muscles long and supple. Many people say that they have never been flexible so they can’t do Pilates, but this is the exact reason they should do Pilates. Regular gently stretching will increase your flexibility and release tension from your body. An added benefit of stretching throughout the class is that you will feel less sore the next.
Pilates is designed to strengthen many of your core and back muscles which support our spine. Strengthening these muscles on a regular basis will result in better posture. We spend much of our lives hunched over computers, laptops and phones making it is very important to stretch and strengthen the muscles that help us stand tall and sit up straight. Improving your posture will reduce everyday pain such as sore muscles, headaches and Back pain.
Improved mental wellbeing
Taking a Pilates class is not only great for your body but can also have a wonderful effect on your mental wellbeing through stress management and relaxation. Every exercise in Pilates is focused around your breath and deep breathing relaxes the body and mind, releases tension and toxins, relieves emotional problems and can bring clarity to your thoughts. By focusing on the technique and breathing of the exercises you are doing you will improve concentration and stay focused not only during class but throughout the rest of the day.
“in 10 sessions you’ll feel the difference, in 20 you’ll see the difference and in 30 you’ll have a different body”
- Joseph Pilates
Increased body awareness
Proper form is an essential in Pilates to ensure you gain the most benefit and to keep your body healthy. After a few classes you will find yourself becoming more aware of your body and how it works. Your instructor will most likely use some anatomical terms through your class and will help you to become aware of what your body is doing and how to do things to get the most benefit from class. I find that many of my clients become more aware of what their body is doing after coming to a couple of classes and they are more able to identify where they are tight or need more work.
Prevention of injuries
As Pilates is such a well-rounded activity that increases strength and flexibility evenly throughout the body with little impact, it can really help to prevent injuries. Improving your hamstring flexibility by just 10 degrees can greatly reduce your risk of hurting your back when bending over to pick something up. Pilates also improves balance which is a risk factor for falls, particularly in the older generations. The increased body awareness you will gain from Pilates will also help you to prevent injuries as you will know how to move more efficiently putting less stress on joints, tendons, muscles and ligaments.
With so many benefits I strongly encourage everyone to try Pilates at least once in their life. You never know you could just find a new passion, strengthen your body or improve your mental wellbeing. I hope you have learnt something new from this post and if you have any questions about Pilates please feel free to contact me. Thank you for reading!