Those of us who practise Pilates regularly, know just how good we feel after a class. Pilates is a unique form of exercise that not only strengthens the body, but has the additional benefit of making you feel calm, relaxed and rejuvenated.
Pilates consists of moving through a slow, sustained series of exercises using abdominal control and proper breathing. The quality of each posture is important, not the number of repetitions or how energetically you can move. Regular Pilates practice will increase lung capacity and circulation due to the deep and controlled breathing.
The movements involved in Pilates exercises are also mentally calming and help your nervous system relax. As your muscles grow longer and stronger, the blood circulation will improve, while stress and tension will lessen. In a world where most of us lead extremely busy lives, Pilates is an effective tool to reduce stress, and therefore improve your health. The holisitic aspect of Pilates, gives the opportunity to centre and connect.
Pilates encourages you to connect mind and body. Proper breathing, correct spinal and pelvic alignment, and complete concentration on smooth, flowing movement, trains you to become more in tune with how the body feels, where it is in space, and how to control its movement. Correct breathing is essential, helping you to perform the exercises with maximum power and efficiency.
Lean not bulk:
Pilates elongates and strengthens muscles, improving flexibility and joint mobility. A body with balanced strength and flexibility is less likely to be injured.
The core consists of the deep abdominal muscles along with the muscles closest to the spine. Control of the core is achieved by integrating the trunk, pelvis and shoulder girdle.
Pilates trains several muscle groups at once in smooth, continuous movements. By developing proper technique, your bodies can be re-trained to move in a safer, more efficient way. This is invaluable for injury recovery, sports performance, good posture and optimal health.
In conclusion, Pilates is with doubt, a highly effective form of exercise. Due to the controlled slow movements, muscles and joints are not strained, unlike other forms of exercise. Pilates has been used by professional dancers for decades and in more recent times is practised by athletes to improve strength, agility, flexibility and for injury prevention. After participating in a session of Pilates, your body will feel stronger and more flexible. Pilates also improves mental clarity, focus and general wellbeing, all of which combined, helps you feel more positive and confident.
To find out more about the benefits of Pilates contact Alexia Morris.