Pilates is an exercise which predominantly focuses on strengthening the body, particularly the core, and to help improve overall well-being. Pilates is relatively similar to yoga as they both focus on improving flexibility, balance, posture and the mind and body connection, but pilates focuses more on helping the muscles relax. This form of exercise is also adaptable to meet the needs of both beginners and those that regularly exercise so pilates can be for everyone! A frequently mentioned barrier to pilates is the lower intensity than other forms of exercise such as running and HIIT training. However, there are numerous benefits that everyone can receive through pilates training:
Flexibility is commonly overlooked within training programs. However, flexibility is crucial in preventing injury. Some hypotheses suggest that flexibility may help reduce the aches and pains experienced post-training, however this theory remains conflicted among research. Additionally, flexibility may also help improve your physical performance due to your greater mobility to execute movements.
Great for relieving back pain
This day in age, the increasing demand of sedentary jobs is causing a rapid elevation in the number of individuals suffering with lower back pain. Alternatively, pilates can help strengthen the lower back which may help reduce the aches and pains commonly experienced.
Balance is an incredibly important skill required in every day life from as little as getting out of a chair to walking. Inevitably, balance declines with age and so slowing down this process can help you to maintain an active lifestyle for longer and prevent the risk of falls in later life.
Whole body workout
A fantastic bonus of pilates is that it targets the whole body as opposed to specific muscle groups which are typically achieved at the gym for example back and biceps. Working the whole body therefore enhances your basal metabolic rate which can help regulate weight loss.
Strength is very important as it can be used as a preventative of disability later in life. Weak core muscles increases your susceptibility to developing lower back pain and muscle injuries. A strong core is also needed in day to day life and is therefore important to implement within your training program.
Perhaps the two largest barriers to pilates is the additional cost on top of gym memberships and time to fit around your other strength and cardio training sessions. However, pilates has become a viral form of exercise which can be found accessible and free online. Even 5-10 minutes of pilates training in the morning can help achieve all of the potential benefits listed above.