What is Pilates?
Pilates were called “Contrology” originally. It is a full body exercise method to improve everyday activities.
Though, the main focus is on core work, this isn’t the end goal. Instead, the goal is to use this core strength to build sustainable and functional movement patterns throughout your body.
It was created by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century. It coordinates breath and movements to work on your prime movers as well as oon your deeper and stabilizing muscles.
Pilates supports your joints and also aligns the overall structure of your body. The movements that look simple can in fact be very challenging and useful if done correctly.
Benefits of Pilates
1. Increases Core Strength
Pilates is famous for its focus on the core. The core is the centre of your body and from all your movements start. All the muscles around your trunk are the core. When these muscles are strong and flexible, your body is better stabilized and strengthened.
It improves function and strength of the core. Strong core is the key aspect in lowering hip and back pain, and reducing pelvic floor dysfunction. This is the area from where explosive movement originates. That’s why it has a nickname “the powerhouse.”
2. Decreases Back Pain
The target of Pilates is the deep pelvis floor and abdominal muscles to release as well as contract – a sign of strength. These muscles stabilize and protect the back and act as a brace to support and lift the organs.
3. Increases Energy
Breathing is the focal point of Pilate’s exercises. So, it enhances your cardiovascular capacity. This activates blood circulation, good hormones and oxygen flow.
You seldom experience fatigue as Pilates is a low impact exercise. Rather, it offers your energy a boost.
4. Decreases Stress
Pilates also helps you regulate the nervous system. This in turn takes you out of your fight or flight mode, reduced cortisol and lower stress levels with time.
5. Enhances Flexibility and Mobility
The amount of passive stretch in a muscle is flexibility. The range of a motion at a joint is mobility. Good mobility needs flexibility as well as strength. To maximize mobility, you need to have a balance between strength and flexibility.
A Pilates practice transitions between slow and precise, controlled movements. Most Pilates exercises are a mixture of stretching and strengthening. This enhances your strength, mobility and flexibility.
6. Boosts Immunity
According to research, Pilates boosts the function of the immune system especially in older adults.
A lot of research is done on older adults, but these findings show people of all ages can experience a boost to immunity because of good circulation. Good immunity results in better immune system function.
7. Improves Posture
The difference between shoulder and back pain, headaches, weak muscles and standing or sitting tall easily is improved posture.
Pilates emphasize on the correct range of motion at the joints, balancing all opposing muscles and alignment of the full body. It corrects and improves your posture by strengthening neglected postural muscles.
8. Prevents Injuries
Pilates work on the muscles so that they become balanced, meaning they are neither tight and rigid nor loose and weak. too tight and rigid or too loose and weak muscles are more prone to injury.
Pilates develop dynamic strength. This gives your joints better support and stability while moving.
9. Decreases Pain During Periods
The condition of painful periods is known as dysmenorrhea. There is research that shows Pilates is helpful in reducing pain during periods.
10. Lifts Mood
Any sort of exercise helps your body release endorphins.
Studies found people who practice Pilates on a regular basis are less likely to experience fatigue, anxiety and depression.
11. Enhances Body Awareness
Pilates is a mind-body exercise which enhances body awareness or proprioception. Your inward attention and your ability to focus on your body’s sensations enhances your awareness of pain or comfort, your surroundings and your emotions.
Your body is better suited to respond towards stimulus when you have increased body awareness. This can save you from falls and injuries.
12. Increases Balances
Balance is crucial at every age and important for daily activities that involve coordination such as walking, twisting, reaching etc.
Pilates increases your gait and balance through core strengthening, full body exercise and focusing on alignment.
13. Improves Core Functioning
Studies concluded improvement in cognitive functioning after Pilates training.
There were assessments of various markers like blood flow towards the brain, new neuron development, increase in neurotransmitter, long life of neurons used in executive thinking, memory and learning.
14. Enhances Sports Performance
No matter if you are a weekend warrior or a professional athlete, Pilates has the ability to enhance your performance.
Pilates balance your body by strengthening muscles, lengthening the areas that are tight and mobilize the rigid areas. So, you immediately and in turn save you from injury.
15. Strengthens Bones
Our present lifestyle where we move less and sit more is harmful for our health as well as our bone density.
According to studies, Pilates helps in improving quality of life, increasing bone density and relieving pain.
16. Improves Sleep
As per studies, Pilates leads to better sleep patterns, especially in people who are below 40.