What Are The Benefits of Pilates? How It Helps Improve Your Health?

benefits of pilates
Pilates exercises brings many health benefits if done regularly

Pilates is a kind of workout designed to improve body strength, endurance, and flexibility within a short period of time. It was designed by a man called Joseph Pilates, who believed that this form of exercise uses the mind to control the body muscles. In fact, Pilates called his method Contrology and it was only later that it came to be called Pilates.

What are the focus areas of Pilates?

The focus areas of this workout are the abdomen, lower back, thighs, and hips. A typical routine may involve performing 20 or more repetitive exercises, each different from the other. These exercises include sit-ups and pushups and other specific exercises that target specific areas of the body.

What does Pilates require?

benefits of pilates
Pilates exercises brings many health benefits if done regularly. Photo credit: arhy82 / Pixabay

Pilates requires quite a bit of concentration, but you never need to do the exercises to a point where you become exhausted. Each exercise is different. It has its own specific movements with specific emphasis on body position and rhythm.

The Pilates exercises are performed in a particular sequence, and each exercise has its own unique name. For a beginner, the exercises may not be easy to do, because each exercise requires great muscle control, specific movements, and flexibility. But, they do get easier, as long as you keep at it regularly.

One thing to note is that you can perform Pilates on a fitness mat; therefore, you can do them at home, as long you know what you are doing. You can also do them at the gym if it is equipped with a machine known as a Reformer, which is specifically designed for Pilates.

What are the benefits of Pilates?

Since Pilates combines many different exercises, you can be assured that you will see a significant improvement in the core areas of your body. So, let us look at some benefits of Pilates.

  1. Improved Body Strength

Pilates strengthens the core, which means all the core muscles of your body become stronger. Your abdominal muscles, hips, thighs, buttocks and lower back become a lot stronger. Your body also becomes more toned.

  1. Improves Balance

Since Pilates helps strengthen the lower back, they also help stabilize the spine, giving you better balance. If you have back pain, Pilates will help relieve the pain and even help prevent any back pains in the future.

  1. Increased Flexibility

Pilates involves doing numerous exercises, each of which has specific movements. This increases flexibility because each exercise requires that you position your body in a way that exercises an area of focus.

  1. Weight Loss

There are possibly hundreds if not thousands of weight loss programs in the market today. But, only a significantly small percentage of these programs are actually effective. If you are not into intense workouts, Pilates is a great alternative to help you shed the extra weight. Even after you have achieved your weight goal, do not stop doing Pilates if you want to maintain your new weight.

  1. Reduces Stress

Stress brings about all kinds of emotional and physical problems. Too much stress can affect your mental as well as your physical health. Pilates can help relieve stress because the exercises require your concentration. So, whatever issue is stressing you out, you cease to focus on it when you are exercising. Yoga is another great way of reducing stress. Studies have proven that by doing Yoga, you can keep your stress levels at down. It is also a great way to relax.

  1. Improves Mental Health

A healthy mind means a healthy body. But, if you are constantly stressed out, frustrated, angry or depressed, these can have adverse effects on your health. Pilates can help improve mental health because it relaxes the mind. Even though all your concentration is needed, at least your mind is focused on your exercises and not what is stressing you out.

Pilates generally help relieve stress, depression, and anxiety; promotes mental health; lowers blood pressure; promotes creative thinking, improves heart health, and helps manage chronic pain.

  1. Increased Endurance

Pilates improves exercise endurance, which in turn helps improve the health of the circulatory system, health, and lungs.

  1. Boosts Confidence

Pilates can definitely help boost your confidence because they improve posture and balance, they tone the body and help maintain a healthy weight. Having a well-toned body turns head, but more importantly, you feel better about yourself.

Who can do Pilates?

The Pilate workout system was not designed for specific people, it can be performed by anyone. Whether you are old or young, Pilates can help you stay in shape and reduce your risk of developing many health-related diseases.  Since Pilates involves doing several different exercises, you can perform those exercises that you are comfortable with; so, it does not matter if you are 80 years old, pregnant or overweight. Anyone can do Pilates.

But, if you have a health problem, like diabetes, heart disease, cholesterol or high blood pressure, and you want to do Pilates, it is advisable you talk to your doctor first.

Pilates is not aerobic, so you may want to add cardio to your exercise program. Cardio helps improve your breathing, heart and lung function and it also reduces stress, depression, mood swings and other negative emotions.

If you have never tried Pilates before and you are wondering where to begin. Start by getting rid of any bad habits like smoking. Reduce the amount of alcohol you take and avoid any poor lifestyle habits that may thwart your health goals. Maintain a healthy diet because exercising alone is not enough to maintain a healthy weight.

Con you do Pilates at Home?

You can choose to do your Pilates at home, but if you are a novice, it is advisable that you buy a Pilates DVD or get a private fitness instructor to help through the first few sessions. The instructor can monitor your movements and overall performance, as well as offer suggestions and advice on how to prevent injury.

On other hand, you can hit the gym, which is great because you can get to meet and build relationships with the other people who are in your Pilates class. These relationships are very beneficial because they can help you stay motivated and focused on achieving a healthy lifestyle.

Watch introduction video about Pilates exercises

Conclusion

Pilates is a very flexible form of workout and it is suitable for all ages and genders. in a short the most important benefits of the Pilates are:

  1. Improved Body Strength
  2. Improves Balance
  3. Increased Flexibility
  4. Helps with Weight Loss
  5. Reduces Stress
  6. Improves Mental Health
  7. Increased Endurance
  8. Boosts Confidence

Are you exercising Pilates or are you interested in to start? Please leave your questions and comments below!

Be sure to discover also how to motivate yourself to workout!

What Are The Benefits of Pilates? How It Helps Improve Your Health?
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Written by Michael B

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