Pilates originated in New York in the 1920s. Its creator drew inspiration from various practices such as yoga and tai-chi, incorporating stretching, breathing techniques and focusing on body movement. The result is an exercise system that has many benefits for the mind and body. Here’s why it’s worth trying.
Pilates develops flexibility
At first, the body is young and flexible, and every movement seems simple and natural. But over time, due to age, a sedentary lifestyle or injury, flexibility can deteriorate so much that quality of life is reduced. Stretching, resistance exercises, strength movements and breathing techniques can change this. Two hours of Pilates per week for 12 weeks is enough to significantly increase flexibility and strength in the body.
Pilates increases strength
How can gentle exercises without weights increase strength? Past injuries, sedentary work patterns, awkward sleeping posture – all of these cause our body to become accustomed to an unnatural position and reduce the efficiency of movement, leading to postural disorders and pain. Pilates helps return the body to its natural position – the body begins to move in the most efficient way, and strength increases.
Pilates develops the core muscles
Core muscles cover the body in several layers and are involved in every movement we perform. They are responsible for maintaining balance and stabilizing the body, which is of great importance in preventing injuries in both sports and everyday life. In Pilates, great importance is placed on creating a strong center – each exercise begins with the activation of the stabilizing muscles of the torso, so that they quickly become strong.
Pilates is safe during rehabilitation
Proper rehabilitation is the key to an athlete’s quick return to training. Since Pilates puts little strain on the body and can be adapted to any person, it is ideal for maintaining an active lifestyle during rehabilitation. In addition, Pilates helps clear the mind of negative thoughts and emotions to get through a depressing period of injury and limited activity.
Pilates improves blood circulation
Since blood supplies oxygen and nutrients to all organs and systems, proper circulation is essential for the health of the entire body. Pilates positively affects blood circulation in two ways. First, it improves it in the process of training, like any other physical exercise system. Second, it restores the correct position of the back, thereby increasing blood flow and reducing pressure.
Pilates improves breathing
If your diaphragm is constantly pinched due to poor posture, you begin to breathe shallowly. The body doesn’t get enough oxygen, so you breathe more heavily and use more energy. Pilates stretches your core muscles, improving your posture and allowing you to breathe more deeply. By consciously breathing in and out during your workout, you change your breathing habit itself, which has a positive effect on strength, endurance and movement efficiency.
Pilates teaches mindfulness
Pilates practice itself exercises mindfulness. To perform a movement in the most effective way, the mind must work in close conjunction with the body. Once you become accustomed to being mindful of your movements while exercising, you will begin to apply this to your daily life as well. Your movements will become more graceful, and you’ll be able to balance better.
These are just a few of the long list of benefits of Pilates. You’ll find out best by trying the exercises in practice.
main photo: unsplash.com/Ash Hayes