The Benefits of Pilates
Quite simply, Pilates is a form of exercise suitable for everyone – men and women, celebrities (fans include Madonna and Sharon Stone) and everyday people, young or old, fit or unfit.
As with many other styles of exercise, Pilates increases metabolism, promotes respiratory and circulatory function, and improves bone density and muscle tone. With its similar discipline to yoga and martial arts, it encourages “centring” and reduces stress.
Unlike many other forms of exercise, however, Pilates improves balance, coordination, and breath control whilst balancing out muscular asymmetries, streamlining the body’s silhouette, and Pilates does all this because the exercises work to simultaneously develop muscular flexibility and strength.
In today’s hectic world, Pilates is highly valuable to the way we live our lives. Consider your work and recreation habits. They both probably involve sitting still for extended periods of time. The result is usually poor posture which leads to a constant state of oxygen deprivation and disproportionate muscle development.
Getting up for a short stretch or a drink of water can really help because we are satisfying our bodies’ natural instinct to move – and moving around works the muscles and pumps more oxygen into both the brain and the body. Think of nature – animals move around instinctively, stretching their muscles regularly rather than sitting in an unnatural position.
So, Pilates is all about breathing and moving more fully – both of which we need to do more often. Over the past half-century, our ‘civilised’ lifestyle in the West has become increasingly sedentary; while our bodies, which evolved in nature and were built for action, have not changed one iota in design.
The Pilates Method puts action back into your life – natural, controlled, healthy, and graceful action which in turn leads to better posture, raised energy levels, and increased balance, flexibility and strength. Regular Pilates training leads to better body awareness, which carries through into improved practical function in all daily activities.
One quality Pilates session is worth several hours at the gym.