Pilates Before and After – Can Pilates Change your Life Positively?

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Pilates Before and After – Can Pilates Change your Life Positively?

Almost everyone that is into Pilates swears it works! Pilates has a holistic approach. It not only gives you a body you can be proud of, but it also gives you a calmer mind. Therefore, it is not surprising that many Pilates advocates refer to it as an almost perfect workout.  

A good workout that has something to do with stretching, strengthening of muscles, increasing your heart rate, and toning is good for your body. Pilates offers more to your well-being that those things.

What is Pilates?

Pilates is a form of exercise made up of a movement series that works on your core strength, flexibility, balance, and posture.

This form of low-impact exercise was conceived and developed in the 1920s by Joseph Pilates, a German physical trainer. The exercises are based on his belief that there is a close connection between physical health and mental health.

Refereed to as a body-mind workout, Pilates includes movements performed in mats and Pilates-designed exercise equipment. The Pilates movements are precise, slow, with a lot of breath control.

Pilates is considered a full-body exercise that will make you do and feel better about your body.

Pilates includes about 500 different exercises. These exercises derive inspiration from ballet, Yoga, and calisthenics movements. These exercises target your core. They also equally stretch and lengthen all major muscles in your body.

A Pilates workout takes typically between 45 minutes to 60 minutes. Consult your doctor before getting into Pilates if you have not exercised for quite some time or have a pre-existing medical condition.

Types of Pilates

There are two ways to do Pilates:

  • Mat-based

This series of Pilates exercises are done on the floor. You will use your body and gravity for resistance. These exercises aim to condition your deeper and supporting muscles to enhance your posture, coordination, and balance.

  • Equipment-based

You will need to use special equipment such as the “reformer” for spring-loaded resistance. The “reformer” is a bed-like frame with a carriage (flat platform).

The carriage has wheels that move back and forth on the frame. A set of springs attaches the carriage to one end of the frame.

Weights such as dumbbells and other small equipment offering muscle resistance are also used in Pilates.

The Health benefits of Pilates includes:

  • Develop your Core
  • Makes your body more Flexible
  • Builds Lean, Long, and Toned Muscles
  • Promotes Development of Balanced Muscles
  • Improves Posture
  • Reduces Aches and Pains
  • Improves your Energy
  • Manages and Reduces Stress Levels
  • Supports Brain Health
  • Enhances Mindfulness and Awareness
  • Creates a Mindset around Body Image and Fitness
  • Promotes Motivation to Exercise

When Joseph Pilates and his wife Clara developed Pilates’ practice, injury rehabilitation was their primary objective. Today, Pilates is used for physical therapy and a full-body workout.

Regularly practicing Pilates offers a wide range of well-rounded benefits.

Anyone, regardless of age, can get started with Pilates to gain the benefits of these exercises, and we will now have a more in-depth look at these benefits.

  • Develop your Core

Pilates is related to your body’s core muscles (abdomen, deep muscles at your back, and pelvic floor). Your core muscles are tasked to provide a supple and strong back, good movement patterns, and good posture.

A good core supports your body. A strong core creates flat abs, and more importantly, creates a more relaxed, strong, and better-functioning body. After about 12 weeks of being into Pilates, you will notice an improvement in your core strength.

  • Makes your body more Flexible

Pilates strengthens your muscles and allows you to bend and stretch your body for flexibility and strength.  A Pilates workout promotes stretching and strengthening that eases the muscle resulting in a more subtle and limber body.

Pilates is not only for those who naturally have flexible bodies. After about 20 Pilates workout sessions, you will be able to increase the flexibility of your body. A flexible body allows you to make everyday movements with ease.

  • Builds Lean, Long, and Toned Muscles

Pilates builds strong muscles similar to getting into a weights program in the gym. Pilates allows your body to build toned and lean muscles that will benefit your overall body.

Pilates works to strengthen your weaker muscles and relieve stronger muscles of most of the demands of your body. This allows your body to have more balance, coordination, and power.

  • Promotes Development of Balanced Muscles

Pilates tones your muscles and your entire body. Most modern exercises target only specific parts of your body. Pilates workouts, on the other hand, promote muscle development in your entire body.

The effects of Pilates are unlike a 10-kilometer run or interval training. Pilates does not include cardiovascular exercises that can increase your heart rate.

Pilates works on your entire body to make you feel and look great.

  • Improves Posture

Pilates exercises also focus on balance and alignment of the body. This results in a strong back and abs, which further results in good posture. A strong core also translates to good posture.

Good posture does not only improve your physical appearance. Good posture also reduces neck and back pain. It also prevents injury and eases tension in your body.

  • Reduces Aches and Pains

in today’s life, aches and pains are common occurrences. Sitting almost all day in front of the computer, driving for long hours, spending many hours on your phone make you live a sedentary lifestyle contributing to body pains.

Pilates stabilizes your torso’s core muscles allowing them to support major muscle groups and your spine. After about four weeks of regular Pilates workout sessions, you will notice the reduction or relief of your body aches and pains.

  • Improves your Energy

Pilates provides you with more energy instead of depleting your energy. These exercises entail slower movements that stimulate your muscles and spine as well as promotes circulation and breath.

Pilates also supplies your body with endorphins, considered as natural chemicals that may let you feel good. It is also a feel-good workout that is not strenuous or too taxing.

  • Manages and Reduces Stress Levels

Pilates exercises can relieve depression and anxiety. They can also help with your insomnia and boost your mood. More importantly, they can reduce your levels of stress.

Like meditation, Pilates allows you to focus only on your body, requiring you to clear your mind of any forms of distraction. The stretching exercises in Pilates relive your tense muscle, as well.

When your body is not stressed, so is your mind.

  • Supports Brain Health

After about ten weeks of Pilates workout sessions, you will have increased memory, better problem solving, and general learning skills. Pilates exercises protect existing cells and create new brain cells.

In short, the mindful movements of Pilates workouts increase the function of your brain.

  • Enhances Mindfulness and Awareness

Pilates exercises require the total attention of your mind and body.  Pilates is similar to Yoga in terms of promoting mindfulness and awareness.

Pilates restores harmony in your body, spirit, and mind. The slow and focus movements and breathing exercises done with total mind concentration within calm surroundings are a potent way of increasing awareness.

  • Creates a Mindset around Body Image and Fitness

Pilates promotes self-love for your mind and body instead of self-punishment. Instead of focusing on losing weight, you will feel great with your body.

 These exercises will focus on enhancing your mood through a holistic approach that will benefit your overall health.

The Pilates exercises will teach you to be kind to your body and work around it, instead of against it.

  • Promotes Motivation to Exercise

Many people start exercising and then stop due to a lack of motivation. People who practice Pilates feel good about themselves during and after each workout session. They feel healthy, strong, and calm, motivating them to continue exercising.

 When you are passionate about something, it is easy to embed it into your regular exercise regimen. Regular exercise creates results, and Pilates motivates you to engage in a consistent routine of exercise.

 Pilates is a Lifestyle

Pilates is not just an exercise regime. Pilates is a way of life. It is about loving your entire body and going through life with grace and purpose.

Pilates promotes a self-care routine and a healthy lifestyle. Pilates further promotes renewed hope in your body amidst a society that is too obsessed with fitness and diet to achieve an ideal body.  

Is Pilates for Everyone?

Pilates is for everyone, young and old alike. There are exercises you can do, depending on your individual needs. There are beginner and advanced workout exercises.

Exercises can be done on the mat using your body weight and also with the help of various kinds of equipment. Pilates exercises focus on stretches while at the same time focusing on proper breathing and control of your abdominal muscles.

To gain the benefits of Pilates, you should commit to doing Pilates at least two times a week regularly. With regular Pilates, you should begin to notice improvements in your posture after about 15 workout sessions.

  • Beginner Pilates Exercises

Beginner Pilates exercises are designed to prepare your body for a strong foundation and get used to the Pilates forms of exercises.

During your first 30 days, you will learn the different Pilates exercises and how to move using the Pilates method. A beginner starts with exercises on the mat on the floor.

  • Advanced Pilates Exercises

Advanced Pilates includes different levels of workout exercises. These exercises constitute a dynamic workout. Before doing advanced Pilates workouts, it is crucial, to begin with beginner exercises.

Final Thoughts

Pilates is not as popular as Yoga. In recent years, however, the benefits of Pilates to body and mind are increasing in popularity. When done correctly, Pilates allows your body to be more flexible and stronger. Pilates benefits both your body and mind. The time you will be able to see and feel the effects of Pilates varies. Some effects can be felt after the first workout session, after a week or a month

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