The benefits of Pilates

The benefits of Pilates

Balancing, lengthening, strengthening and toning. These are all qualities that can be found within the practice of Pilates, an exercise similar in ways to yoga, but very much focused on the breath and the lengthening and realignment of the body.

When it comes to Pilates, it’s easy to think of it as a slow-paced exercise that doesn’t make you sweat much. There is sometimes a misconception that you haven’t really worked out after a Pilates session as a lot of the exercises are slow and controlled, rather than the fast-paced cardio sessions you may expect from many other disciplines.

Pilates offers a whole range of benefits however, including: 

muscle coordination; 

stabilising your hips; and 

working the core.

By holding certain postures for a length of time, you’ll soon find that muscles you didn’t know existed are getting quite the work out!

By moving your body and coordinating with your breathing you help to realign your body, making Pilates ideal for people with limited movement, back pain, and suitable for all ages.

Its slow and controlled movements take discipline and use a lot of muscle isolation, which helps your muscles learn to be more effective.

With all balancing exercises, the core is strengthened, and when you have a strong core, your whole body benefits. You move better, have better posture and better flexibility.

The movements may be slow, but you still burn calories with Pilates, and you also get great tone from focusing on muscles for a certain length of time.

An overlooked benefit of Pilates is also that of wellbeing and the ability to focus on yourself. By switching off from outside distractions and focussing on your breath, you are able to reconnect with your own body and empty your mind, which can often help with depression and stress.

Pilates is an exercise that can make you feel both energised and relaxed all at once – and not many exercises can boast that!


The Author

Laura Briggs

Laura is a fitness writer who loves running, strength training, Pilates and Yoga. When she's got time to herself you might find her knitting, or in the kitchen trying out an elaborate recipe - healthy of course!.

Comments

Olga N.
15 September 2016

Olga N.

I've always loved yoga but never tried Pilates. I am tempted to fit at least one class in a week now after reading this!

Sasha B.
12 September 2016

Sasha B.

I used to wonder at women doing slow stuff like this, and thinking it wasn't proper exercise! Imagine my surprise when I actually tried a class a few years ago and found I ached afterwards. I really would recommend anyone trying it before judging.

Sarah L.
12 September 2016

Sarah L.

I haven't done pilates in forever - but now I'm late rather than early twenties, this kind of strength and tone is a lot more appealing. I'll be giving a class a go.

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