What Are the Health Benefits of Doing Pilates?
Pilates is both an ancient art and a new trend. It is a fitness craze, a weight loss technique and a route to general wellness and wellbeing that has been gaining popularity for some time now. It has been around since the 1920s, and its roots are even older than this.
It is pronounced ‘pih-LAH-teez’ and was named after the man who came up with the concept, Joseph Pilates. If you want to get into Pilates, you’ll be pleased to know that, when practised regularly, it can be in invaluable addition both to your workout routine and to your life.
Pilates connects the body, mind and spirit through exercise (a bit like yoga) and the goal is to improve your strength and flexibility, whilst creating a balance between the two. Those who do Pilates develop an increased bodily awareness through various poses and stretches, which target specific muscle groups.
The aim with Pilates is to have a toned, lean body without adding bulky muscles and to also lengthen the muscles and increase flexibility. It has also been reported to improve coordination and relieve feelings of stress and anxiety. Many exercises achieve this, of course, but Pilates is thought to be particularly good.
One of the main muscle groups that Pilates targets is the ‘core’. This consists of muscle groups which are usually ignored and underdeveloped, such as the abdominals and the back muscles. In the process of working on these, it helps to improve posture, eases back pain and strengthens the overall body. It is very important to strengthen your core as it literally carries the rest of your body, and all other exercises will be better if you have a strong core.
Both beginners and seasoned fitness buffs can try Pilates, and it can be tailored to your specific, individual needs.