There is growing evidence showing the positive relationship between Pilates and overall sense of wellbeing. While it is easy to understand that some people think of Pilates as nothing more than an improved version of Yoga, it does more than simply helping you to be in-sync with the rest of your body. According to the Pilates experts at Capital Physiotherapy, the regimen is exactly what fitness buffs need. Just what do they mean by this? Well, here are 7 effective ways Pilates can help you feel good.
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It’s a good way to manage your stress.
One of the best things about Pilates is that you get to see and actually feel the results almost instantaneously. You may not really notice your muscles getting stronger or your joints becoming suppler after just a single round of Pilates. However, the improvement in blood circulation can also facilitate the release of natural endorphins in the brain, flooding it with remarkable sensations that can only be described as nothing short of ecstatic. It’s like getting a shot of opioid sans the addicting effects, of course. But it’s the natural ‘high’ that keeps Pilates practitioners to want to do more. The release of endorphins in the brain can lead to a significant reduction in stress levels, making you feel more contented about even the simplest things in life.
Lower chances of exercise-related injuries.
Unlike conventional gym exercises such as strength-training, endurance training, and flexibility and stability exercises, doing the Pilates will never expose you to potential exercise-related injuries. As a matter of fact, it is the opposite as the gentle and purposeful manoeuvres of Pilates allow you to be very mindful of what your body is telling you. The goal here is never to go beyond the limits of one’s body. The trick is in understanding these limitations and learning how to go around them so that the maximum benefits can be derived. Of course, you can still get injured especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. That’s why it is best to have a Pilates instructor guide you through the process. Since you’ve got lower risk for exercise-related injuries, you get to enjoy life a little bit more.
Develops and tones the muscles.
Toning the muscles is different from building them. Pilates is not really a resistance exercise that is similar to what serious bodybuilders have. However, because the whole body is actually engaged in purposeful movements, the muscles are well-toned. Muscle toning is all about preparing the muscle tissues to be in perpetual state of partially-contracted state. When you touch a well-toned muscle it doesn’t feel soft and plump. Instead, it’s quite solid, but not rock-hard as the abs and glutes of one who bodybuilds. Improving muscle tone can help with weight control as the perpetually partially-contracted state of the muscles will be continuously using up energy. This easily translates to better calorie control, while also averting any potential health issues arising from too much calories in the body.
Provides a more customised, personalised exercise session.
Following a regular exercise routine can be very taxing to most individuals. Discipline is the key in these exercise regimens. The good thing about Pilates, especially when done with a licensed instructor, is that you can actually design the programme that works best for you. You can decide on how to progress with your fitness goals while also taking into consideration other important aspects in your life. You could go to your Pilates class, accomplish your programmed activities, and be out in an hour. This way you can still enjoy your life outside the office and the Pilates class.
Corrects postural issues.
The thing about Pilates is that it specifically targets the core muscles. These are the groups of muscles located in the central portion of the human body. Because of their central location, they form the stabilizing muscles of the body. A strong core allows the body to maintain the near-perfect alignment of other body parts relative to the midline. In addition to the core muscles, the abdominals, shoulders, gluteals, thoracic, and other muscles within the midline are also strengthened, correcting a host of postural problems. This can have significant implications in one’s productivity at work as well as stability in other aspects of one’s life.
Shorter labour and less pain for pregnant women.
Soon-to-be-mums often have to give up their exercise requirements for fear of putting a strain on their unborn babies. Pilates can actually help prepare expectant women by strengthening the muscles of the pelvic floor and the associated regions. Strong pelvic floor muscles can help prevent any potential complications that may arise during pregnancy or during the birthing process. Studies also show that women who have stronger pelvic floor muscles tend to have shorter labour times and reduced pelvic and low back pain which can help make the child-birthing process a lot more meaningful especially for the first-time mum.
Freedom from back pain.
Members of the productive workforce especially those who have to sit long hours every day in front of their computer screens and sitting in chairs that are not ergonomically-designed are very prone to developing low back pain. As a matter of fact, recent studies show that it is one of the leading causes of loss of productivity in the workforce. Not only is organisational productivity affected, back pain can also translate to financial woes in the form of increased healthcare costs related to the care of back pain. Strengthening the muscles of the back through Pilates can help avert these issues and improve one’s productivity. It also helps ensure that one can continue enjoying the many pleasures that life has to offer since there is no back pain to hold him or her down.
There are numerous ways in which Pilates can help you feel good about yourself and everything else in life. It is one great way to exercise and stay fit while also giving you the opportunity to address certain health issues that may impede your ability to enjoy life to the fullest.
Melanie graduated with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy from the University of Melbourne. She is a professional physiotherapist and a member of the Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute. She obtained her clinical experience throughout the public and private systems. She has particular interest for runners, swimmer, cyclist and dancing injuries. She is also trained to perform Pre-Pointe, Pilates and running assessment. Melanie has a keen interest in treating and educating clients to help individuals recover and achieve their personal health goals.