There are so many options you can choose from when it comes to working out; pilates is just one of these options. If you’ve not heard of pilates before or don’t fully understand what it involves, you might discard it as a form of exercise and choose something more familiar instead. In this article, we look at reasons why you should consider pilates and what it entails.
What is pilates?
Pilates is a form of exercise which has been developed to improve body strength, especially core strength. It consists of exercises that are done on a yoga mat or using specific pilates equipment. The poses and movements are held to activate the core muscles in the body and improve strength, stability and flexibility. Pilates classes are usually held as group classes where participants follow the instructor's movements. Alternatively, you can practise pilates at home by following an online video. There are many benefits and reasons to start pilates, some of which are discussed below.
Decreases stress levels
Modern life is increasingly stressful, people are working more hours, and the cost of living is increasing. Pilates is a great way to decrease your stress level, which can help to keep you happy and healthy. Part of pilates is focused on breathing and increasing your blood flow circulation. By doing this, you’re helping to decrease the stress levels in your body. When your stress levels are lowered, you will feel better, which can help you get a more restful night’s sleep.
Easy on your joints
For those that are struggling with joint issues or recovering from an injury, it can be hard to find an exercise that’s suitable and won’t cause any further damage or pain. Pilates is great for this purpose as it's very gentle on your joints. This makes it safe for people of all ages and those with joint problems such as arthritis or people recovering from an injury. Strengthening your core muscles can actually help with arthritis as it takes the pressure off your spine and hip joints, which can reduce pain and prevent further damage.
A fun way to meet other people
A beginner's pilates class will be full of many different people from all walks of life at different points in their life. Going to a new class can be daunting, but as long as you’re prepared with the right pilates clothes and a water bottle, you’ll fit in well. It can also be an excellent way to meet new people in your local area. Making new friends as an adult, especially if you’ve recently moved to the area, isn’t easy. Group classes such as pilates will give you an opportunity to talk to new people and potentially make several new friends.
If you struggle with flexibility, then pilates can help; many of the postures and movements help to improve your overall flexibility. Being more flexible has many benefits for everyday life; you’re less likely to get injured from falling over or doing other physical exercises. In addition, you can improve your overall posture and balance, which will reduce the likelihood that you will suffer from posture-related pain. Finally, being more flexible will generally help you feel better throughout your body; you’ll have fewer aches and pains, and it can improve your quality of life.
Can assist with weight loss
If you’re not currently happy with your body size, you can use workouts such as pilates to help you to lose weight. By building up your muscles and strengthening your core, you will boost your metabolism, the rate at which your body burns calories. In addition, during pilates, you will be burning calories. The mental and well-being effects of pilates can also help with unhealthy eating habits. You may see a conscious or an unconscious change in your food selections when you start practising pilates and improving your overall health and well-being.
These are just a few of the benefits of practising pilates; it's a great activity that’s suitable for anyone; here is a list of other pilates benefits you might find useful. The way to see if pilates is right for you is to sign up for a taster class at your local gym or community centre.