Pilates has become a favorite of many fitness enthusiasts in recent years. While some think of Pilates as a workout which can help them tone and shape up their body, its key benefit is more on the spiritual aspect. This is one of the reasons why it is impossible to perform the moves unless you are focused and breathing properly.
Nonetheless, Pilates can also benefit your body in many different ways. It helps calm the mind while boosting your self esteem as you work on your posture and feel more in control of your body. According to my favorite hair stylist in Newport Beach, here are the other health benefits of Pilates.
Increase Your Body Awareness
When doing Pilates, you become more aware of your body – whether you are doing simple tasks such as brushing your teeth, cooking or using your laptop. Over time, your body awareness becomes increased so that you will pull your stomach in and pull your shoulders down to feel more calm and relaxed. It is, in a way, practicing willpower as you train your mind to be in symmetry with your body.
Strengthen Your Muscles
Because there is no way to actually lengthen your muscles through physical exercise, there is no guarantee that Pilates will make you look longer and leaner. However, Pilates can help prevent muscles from getting too big as you stretch your muscles before contracting it. In contrast, lifting weights will make you use your muscles against resistance to build it. If you are trying to look lean, it would be best to do Pilates with other cardio activities.
Low-Intensity Calorie Burn
It is not a calorie-buster unlike other workouts such as running or cycling. Nonetheless, a 1 hour Pilates class will burn up to 144 calories. This makes it a good workout choice for low intensity days. You may want to do Pilates on some days while cardio on other to get in shape.
These are only some of the health benefits of Pilates. It is low intensity but it requires total mind and body concentration. You will also need to focus on precise movement and coordination. There are different levels and positions of Pilates which need concentration, control and core strength to be able to do it properly. You will need to teach your body how to connect your upper and lower body for it to be in sync. Imagery is also needed to ensure proper form. As you stand tall and lifted during each movement, try to imagine a straw that is going through that center of your body. It is also a good idea to use core control rather than momentum to perform the moves correctly.
There are many gyms that offer Pilates classes today. You may want to look around and sign up for classes in your area so that you can regularly go to classes after work or during your free days. It is also a good workout if you want to de-stress as you get to work on calming your mind and body.
Health and Fitness Editorial by Stephen Cole of FitFarms UK. Stephen is an experienced Fitness Course Consultant specializing in holistic fitness camp programmes. He blogs about health and fitness topics at FitFarms.co.uk/Blog.