If you've never tried Pilates then maybe the New Year is the time to start!
The beauty of Pilates is that it provides huge benefits for so many different people, whatever the age or gender.
Who benefits from Pilates?
Pilates makes you re-think your way of training and you can incorporate it in to your regular workout or use it as an addition to your current training program. If you've never experienced Pilates you'd be forgiven for not understanding the benefits, or thinking that it's aimed at a group of people who aren't fond of hard core gym exercise and prefer an hour of relaxation on a rubber mat!
This idea is changing as more and more people, both men and women, become more aware of how Pilates can enhance your life and your workouts.
Improving core strength is one of the benefits
As many Pilates exercises involve moving limbs whilst holding the torso stable, this enables the core, in time, to strengthen. Put in simpler terms, we are using these type of exercises to strengthen the deeper muscles which help to stabilise the body and keep the spine aligned. The balancing challenges your stability and flexibility and all of this results in a stronger core over time.
So why do we need a stronger core?
Well, Pilates will help your range of movement (ROM) and improve posture and overall strength and flexibility. Therefore, it will help us all with our training as we will be more effective and flexible and the dynamic stretches involved in Pilates will aid all of this.
Pilates for the older generation
Pilates as we get older can have huge benefits. As we age we suffer stiffness with less mobility. We become less flexible and co-ordination and balance becomes a lot more challenging. A poorly aligned body can cause stiffness in the neck, back pain and headaches. The elderly can see vast improvements in all of these issues by consistently incorporating Pilates into their every day lives.
There may be benefits to arthritis sufferers as the movements are gentle and work on maintaining motion around the joints. There isn't the impact on the body that there is in other workouts, and Pilates will teach you increased control and stability, therefore functional every day activities will be easier with less risk of injury.
And finally....benefits to mental health
Focusing on your breathing can be very calming and encouraging deep breathing can help relaxation and sleep. All of this can be useful in the reduction of stress and an hour of "time out" in Pilates can improve mood and positivity.
With so many benefits what is there not to like about Pilates?