If you are a regular visitor to our blog then it would have been hard to miss that we are big yoga fans! We love to share the extensive benefits of this spiritual practice so that more people may be encouraged to give it a try!
Today we are going to talk about pilates and explore how incorporating this exercise into your workout routine can protect your health and boost your fitness efforts.
What is Pilates?
Pilates is similar to yoga in many respects, although there is a much stronger focus on developing core strength. Your abdomen, obliques, lower back and thighs will all be targeted during pilates, but your whole body will get a workout!
There is much more focus on holding the poses correctly rather than pushing yourself too far. You will notice that with a lot of the poses you will be engaging certain muscles to strengthen them, whilst other muscles get a good stretch at the same time!
Similarly to yoga there is an important emphasis placed on ensuring that you breathe properly as you move through the poses. Implementing the correct breathing techniques during pilates will help you to execute each pose with more power and precision. Paying attention to your breathing is also great for keeping your mind clear and your concentration on the session.
The Benefits of Pilates
Your body will benefit in many ways when you make pilates a regular feature in your life. You can expect:
- Better posture
- Increased strength
- Improved flexibility
- Enhanced coordination
- Reduced stress levels
- Strong core muscles
- Spinal alignment
As you begin to experience all of the aforementioned benefits of practicing pilates, you will start to notice changes to your body and also to your mind. Furthermore, you will be better protected against injury as your balance, coordination, flexibility and strength improve, and you will be better equipped to maintain a positive outlook as your stress levels drop.
If you have specific fitness goals then it is a good idea to talk to a pilates instructor about how this type of exercise can compliment other workout activities. For example, if you are trying to lose weight then you may find that swapping one of your weekly gym sessions for a pilates lesson is an effective way to enhance your efforts. Similarly, if you participate in any kind of sport then your instructor will be able to advise you as to the best way to enhance your performance with the use of pilates.
A Quick History Lesson
This fantastic exercise option was created by Joseph Pilates. Having previously been a gymnast, Joseph was inspired to create a workout that would be suitable for dancers who are hindered by an injury. He took much of his inspiration for the moves from yoga, but claims to have also been inspired by the movements of certain animals, such as big cats and swans.
Ready to Give it a Try?
One of the fantastic things about pilates is that there are so many ways to shake things up that it is unlikely that you will tire of it any time soon! Also, because it’s not a high intensity exercise, your body isn’t going to dread going to a session if you have already had a long day.
There is a very low chance of experiencing an injury when you practice pilates. It is an incredibly gentle and low impact exercise, but one that can be extremely efficient at helping you to reach your fitness goals.
Regardless of where you live there are likely one or more local classes that you can choose from. So, get yourself signed up to a lesson and you will soon understand the power of pilates! Remember, you can check out our great rang of activewear so that your wardrobe matches your fitness intentions!