The trend now is ‘Work from home. Because of the ongoing pandemic, many are stuck at home or holed up in their rooms. This, in turn, has left people with a sedentary lifestyle leading to flabby bodies and overall a lazy feeling. The importance of having a healthy body cannot be understated. This fact is accepted and understood by all and sundry. But many lack the initiative or drive to start with it.
To provide the needed impetus, an intelligent way to exercise is Pilates. If star appeal catches your attention, then Pilates is sure to get you on your feet. Many celebrities have heavily patronized Pilates. So, this is sure to strike a curious bell in you. So, let’s get started with a few top reasons you should be doing Pilates.
First and foremost, it is better to clear some misconceptions about Pilates. Pilates is not just for Women only. It is appliable for anyone regardless of age, gender, size, etc., and yes, Pilates help in getting a lean, sculpted body.
Initially called ‘Contrology,’ Pilates consists of more than 600 whole-body exercises and variations. A mat and some specialized equipment are needed. Commonly, it is used as a cross-training workout and is also recommended by doctors for improving overall health. The movement and breath are coordinated together to work the prime movers and smaller and deep muscles of the body. It is a low-impact exercise that strengthens the core’s deep muscles and aligns the body and fine-tunes movement patterns.
In short, Pilates is more than a workout as it does not just sculpt the body. Instead, it also clears the mind, gives energy, and promotes inner serenity. To be precise, it is a miracle tool.
Top Reasons You Should Be Doing Pilates
1. For Core Strength
Pilates is famous for its emphasis on the core that is the center of the body. The trunk muscles are worked upon, thereby decreasing hip and back pain and pelvic floor dysfunction. For example, the core consists of 29 muscles and so is just not a six-pack. When a deep core activation in Pilates is done, a movement chain is started in the body. Starting from the brain, the impulses are relayed through the spinal cord and to the muscle fibers. All this leads to better function of the nervous system.
2. Posture & Mobility, Confidence Improvement
Today’s young generation has a problem slouching and sitting up straight. So, Pilates focuses on the whole body’s alignment and works on the postural muscles. Pilate’s practice involves moving with smooth transitions of slow controlled movements. This helps to improve strength, flexibility, and mobility. Because of this, even balance and gait are improved as the focus is on alignment and whole-body exercises. There is a term called ‘power posture,’ which boosts confidence levels. Pilates will help you achieve it and have proper body alignment, thereby deriving confidence benefits.
3. Improves Breathing
Pilates focuses on the breath. It improves cardiorespiratory capacity. This, in turn, stimulates oxygen flow and blood circulation, and the feel-good hormones. The inward focus and breathing exercises help to regulate the nervous system. The benefit achieved is that it lowers cortisol and decreases stress over time. A recent study stated that different states of emotions have distinct breathing patterns. Also, different breathing patterns evoke emotions. In other words, by breathing a certain way, you can calm yourself and be free from anxiety. So, learning to control breathing is one of the most significant plus points of Pilates. Breath is one of the six fundamental principles. Usually, all of us are considered as ‘lazy breathers. However, the breathing techniques learned during Pilates will be helpful in different life situations and help get through the stress. So, this can be listed as a top reason for doing Pilates.
4. Increases Energy & Playfulness
Pilates being of low-impact nature does not cause fatigue. Instead, it boosts the energy. It is a fun way of exercising since it involves exercises such as ‘roll like a ball,’ ‘hang like a monkey,’ be a ‘seal,’ etc. It encourages playfulness, thereby enhancing your health and reinventing your life.
5. Boosts Immunity & Mood
This benefit may sound too good to be true. But research has shown that Pilates boosts the immune system, especially in older adults. This is because of the improved blood circulation. As is already accepted, exercise provides an elixir of endorphins. The same applies to Pilates as well. Negative thought patterns are released, and anxiety plus depressive thoughts are reduced considerably. Since Pilates engages the mind and the body, you will enjoy the workout and stay focused on it. This way, the mind will not wander off into negative things. This will help you feel happy and calm.
6. Enhances Sports Performance
Yes, Pilates is suitable for professional athletes or those involved in heavy physical activity. Pilates balances the body, lengthens tight areas and mobilizes rigid muscles. This helps to react quickly and prevent injury. Research also proves that there is gain in muscle mass, improved speed, and better flexibility in athletes. Pilates relieves tension which is built up in the muscles through stretching and gradual conditioning.
7. Improves Memory
Sounds unbelievable, but it is true. Reports suggest that our brains shrink as the years go by, leading to memory loss or risks of Alzheimer’s disease. However, exercise improves the creation of new brain cells and. Research conducted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign stated that brain function improved significantly after a mindful movement practice such as Pilates or Yoga. Routine exercises such as running on a Treadmill without focusing on anything help the body, whereas a Pilates routine challenges the body and the mind at the same time.
In conclusion, studies have shown that Pilates improves the overall quality of life and makes a positive impression on those suffering from depression or anxiety issues. It is also suitable for patients who are undergoing rehab or having pain issues. However, it is reiterated that it is best to check with a doctor first if you suffer from chronic low back pain. Pilates is a good choice since Pilates strengthens the weak core muscles. So, look out for an experienced Pilates instructor who will surely help you on the path to alleviate pain.
You will find many articles detailing the benefits of Pilates. However, it is best to experience it for yourself. Check it out, and step on the path to a healthy life.