The Many Ways Pilates Improves Your Health
Inherently, all physical fitness systems work, in one way or another, toward improving the health of anyone who takes them up. However, Pilates is head and shoulders above most fitness programs when it comes to health benefits, achieving them in a much less strenuous way. Pilates improves whole-body health without straining muscles and joints.
Since its introduction by Joseph Pilates all those years ago, Pilates has earned a reputation as a great way of strengthening the “core,” which mainly refers to the abdominal and trunk muscles. This incredible fitness system, however, does more than just give you great and strong abs, which many people (mistakenly) believe is what Pilates is solely about. Let’s look at the many ways Pilates improves your health. You might be surprised at what it can do for you.
Pilates improves your posture
If you know people who have been doing Pilates for some time, you will notice that they have good posture. That’s because smoothly doing Pilates exercises requires laser focus, and this level of concentration makes one more naturally aware of their posture at all times. Eventually, Pilates enthusiasts automatically correct their posture and spinal alignment even when they’re outside of classes and going about their daily lives.
Pilates improves circulation
Pilates emphasizes deep, proper breathing. With this kind of breathing, the flow of your blood becomes freer, and the delivery of precious oxygen to your organs and muscles becomes more efficient resulting in improved function.
Pilates lowers blood pressure
A 2015 study had 44 hypertensive women split into two groups as subjects, with one group performing twice-a-week, 60-minute Mat Pilates sessions for 16 weeks, and the other group maintaining their daily activities without any special exercise training. The results were encouraging, as it found out that Mat Pilates “reduces clinical and ambulatory blood pressure.”
Pilates improves your balance
Many Pilates exercises constantly make use of apparatus and props that promote stabilization. As your core muscles gain strength and your spine realigns, your balance, as well as your coordination, improves as well. Pilates is absolutely great for the elderly since improved balance means lesser risk for falls.
Pilates helps with back pain
If you’ve been suffering from chronic back pain and traditional treatments didn’t work for you, you might want to give Pilates a try. There are specific Pilates exercises that are designed to relieve back pain, and there have been studies that say they can be more effective than conventional back pain treatments. Many Pilates enthusiasts already claim that the system has given them relief for their back pain, which Pilates can also help prevent.
Pilates improves flexibility
Every single Pilates class will require you to perform multiple active stretches all throughout, which will improve your joints’ range of motion with every session. Your body will feel looser and relaxed, which is always a good thing.
Pilates boosts spinal strength and health
With all the multiplanar core exercises that you will have to do in Pilates class, you will feel your spine become stronger, more flexible, and better aligned. A 2014 study also affirms that there is a link between spinal health and Pilates.
Pilates enhances joint mobility
Pilates exercises strengthen and elongate muscles as well as improve the mobility of your joints. They can also reduce your risk of suffering from stiff or weak joints. As Pilates exercises also help to balance the musculature within your joints, you will become less prone to arthritis.
Pilates lowers stress levels
Deep, proper breathing, which is a core Pilates principle, plays a huge role in reducing your stress levels. With deep and proper breaths, your blood gets more oxygen, and the improved circulation makes delivery of oxygen to the brain more efficient. When your brain gets its fair share of oxygen, a response telling it to calm down is triggered, and that should relax your brain enough to keep your stress levels down.
These are just some of the ways Pilates can improve your health. If Pilates intimidates you, know that anyone can do it, no matter what your age or weight. Pilates Improves It may prove challenging at first but you will get the hang of it eventually, and you will soon achieve the health gains mentioned above, and more.
Guest post for Centerworks® by Cindy Ayres.
Owner/Instructor, Cindy Ayres, excels at challenging the most seasoned of athletes, but she also has made it her life’s mission to help bodies that hurt, regularly working with students with injuries, special conditions, and functionality issues. Beyond Fit Pilates in Scottsdale, Arizona was created to teach all levels of high quality Pilates instruction, write fitness and wellness content, and speak in health and fitness forums.
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