What is Pilates?

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Updated: December 26, 2012
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Regularly practicing Pilates can help you combat muscle bulkiness.

Pilates is also a  useful exercise  for making your belly look that much flatter.

Pilates is  a favorite among Hollywood starlets and well-versed fitness fanatics.

Pilates is a kind of exercise that improves flexibility, coordination and also strengthens muscles through controlled movements done as mat exercises or with equipment to tone and strengthen the body. It has been the favorite type of exercise for r dancers, athletes and actors.

Pilates Overview

Pilates daily workouts  will help your body to address unique issues or problem areas, and gets you in tune with your body as it is good for the mind and good for the body.  By doing routine Pilates exercises you can build a strong core, develop flat abdominals and create a strong back by strengthening the muscles that support your spine.

Pilates also improves mental and physical health by increasing flexibility and blood circulation. It particularly works on the body’s core or your torso. Pilates would also help you to have better posture, and in case of injury, Pilates exercises will help you to experience better overall health.

pilates founderThe founder of Pilates, Joseph H. Pilates, had some serious health problem such as asthma as a kid, he built his body and grew stronger and became an athlete. As a nurse in Great Britain during World War I, he designed exercise methods and equipment for immobilized patients and soldiers. He also developed a series of mat exercises that focus on the torso and by combining various exercise methods such as the mind-body formats of yoga and Chinese martial arts he created a new routine exercise.
The main point of the Pilates philosophy is that our physical and mental health is intertwined. He designed his exercise program around principles that support this philosophy, including concentration, precision, control, breathing, and flowing movements.

Benefits of Pilates

There are lots of benefits of doing Pilates such as general fitness, better sleep, increasing strength, to lose weight, to increase coordination, to get toned body with lean muscles, to help to heal injuries such as back pain, joint pain, to develop mind-body and for better sexual health. Pilates teaches proper breathing and spinal and pelvic alignment, helping you become more connected with your body. Breathing properly can also help to reduce stress.

Pilates gets different results in each individual. But one thing is the same. You feel great and it’s effective. It will help you to have a lean look without bulky muscles. Your body will be strong without looking Bulky and maybe that is why Pilates is a popular exercise for gymnasts and professional dancers.

Most conventional workouts tend to create bulky muscle, but Pilates does not rely on frequent repetition, and thus no overgrown muscles. It just focuses on the whole body, not just on sections of muscles. Your focus would be on the core and around the area of the abdominal muscles and the back and you will be benefiting a lot by a proper use of the Pilates program such as the ability to increase the strength of stabilizer muscles that may not commonly be worked out in a standard exercise program.

Pilates also stresses the use of fluid movements and circulation that can be a great way to get a better sense of the kinesthetic of your body. A lot of people feel that they are better able to balance themselves regardless of the position that they are in.

Like yoga and Chinese martial arts, by engaging the mind and enhancing body awareness Pilates not only helps you to tone your body, but your mind and spirit as well and you will be more mindful of your body. Breath movement is also emphasized to put you in touch with how breath moves through your body.

The mind-body connection

pilates for womenPilates has been demonstrated to reduce stress, anxiety, and helps lift depression. The mind-body connection is fundamental to the study and practice of Pilates. As you see Pilates has numerous benefits that one can attain through regular use of the exercise program. It also strengthens your body and helps prevent future injuries. Since no set of muscles is ever over or under trained, there is less risk for injury.
It teaches you how to become efficient with your body. Very few exercises can help your body become more efficient in its movement. By practicing Pilates on a regular basis, you can train your body more to move in a much safer and more efficient manner.

Benefits of Pilates for Older Adults

Unfortunately when we get older our bodies get stiff and we feel pain in our joints. Even if you start Pilates at the older age you can still get some of the benefits to prevent the elderly pain from arthritis and other bone problems.

Even adults undergoing serious rehabilitation therapy can use Pilates to increase their range of motion and overall muscle strength.  As a senior you need to consult with your doctor or a medical professional to make sure that Pilates will benefit you, but in most cases it has been very helpful for adult with back and joint pain.  Make sure that you never feel pain while practicing Pilates and stop as you start to feel any pain. Pilates was designed to progress naturally from one movement to another. If you feel stopped at one movement, don’t give up. Start at the beginning and work your way back to the areas you found most challenging.

Remember that practice makes perfect and that you cannot do it all in one day.

Take your time practicing Pilates and you will reap the rewards this great exercise regimen.

NadiaWritten by: Nadia (17 Posts)

Nadia is a life coach and health writer residing in Toronto.


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  1. Pingback: What is Pilates? | Health and Fitness Society | esesuvavip

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