Alright, so I finally did it – I took my first Pilates class, and man is that a great workout! I’ve always been the type of person that prefers to feel like I’m working out (basically, this means I want to sweat, or I don’t think I’ve done a great job) but the day after a Pilates class proved me wrong in a big way.
I have discovered muscles that I didn’t even know I had – you know that feeling! Pilates is a fairly low impact exercise, but definitely packs a mean punch. I looked into a bit, as in my mind I feel like it’s only been really quite popular for the past 10 years of so maybe, but did you know it’s been around since the 1920’s?
It was first introduced in a public manner by Joseph Pilates. The main goal of this workout routine is perfect body coordination, with emphasis on increasing your body’s strength while obtaining perfect spinal alignment to improve your posture.
Recently, there has been a large influx of machinery that is used in Pilates, (one of which being the Reformer, made popular by the Kardashians), that increase body flexibility. Other machines include the spine corrector, the ladder barrel, and the Cadillac). For those of you that can’t afford the $4000 Reformer, there’s always a good old fashioned mat to help you out!
Mats are great for maintaining a non-slip surface under you, and are more than affordable! They are also wonderful, as you can use them at home once you get a routine down. Mat Pilates works on strengthening your abdominals, lower back muscles, hips and glutes in one workout. Generally, workouts can use different forms of strength building such as rings or resistance bands. One huge benefit- and I’m hoping to see huge results over time – is an increase in flexibility!
As usual, if you have a medical condition, make sure you consult your doctor before you start any type of workout program to ensure your health levels are strong enough to maintain the routine.
Here’s the Pilates video that I used to start off with: it’s great because it’s 30 minutes with Cassey Ho, who really explains everything as you go through the moves so you can understand the background of each move.
9 Key Benefits Of Pilates
Pilates Benefit 1: Weight loss
Pilates is a workout program that allows burning of extra calories consumed when done regularly. Pilates also keeps burning fat for hours after your workout is over! Keep in mind that consistency is very important for you to get (and keep) your desired results. I’d also (as always) recommend a healthy diet rich in fiber, to help get rid of the stubborn fat reserves that stick in your body!
Pilates Benefit 2: Get rid of waste in the body
Deep breathing is part of Pilates; therefore improved blood circulation is enabled promoting getting rid of waste in the body. Plus, when do we ever have a chance get our deep breathing on in real life, right?
Another great way of helping get rid of the excess waste: drink plenty of water to help the body flush out all the toxins!
Pilates is a resistant workout that strengthens and tones the muscles in the body for more strength in your daily activities. It ends up making your body look lean and toned, however, it must be done in the proper manner to avoid hurting the muscles; increasing the resistance moderately is recommended for a fit and healthy body.
Pilates Benefit 4: Heals aches and pain
A number of people have testified to the fact that pain in their lower back reduced or stopped after they started the Pilates workout, likely due to the increase in core strength and flexibility. A reputable Pilates instructor is able to guide on the right movements that will promote proper spinal alignment to stop pain in the lower back caused by the type of work one does.
Pilates Benefit 5: Proper posture
Want to gain a few inches? Standing tall is a sign of confidence that helps make a great first impression; therefore Pilates workout should be done at least two or three time a week to obtain the desired outcome. It really works on stretching and elongating your muscles to increase flexibility. You’ll stand taller than never before!
Pilates Benefit 6: Improved flexibility
If you are like me, you can barely touch your toes! I’ve always said I need to stretch more, but for me it’s my least favorite thing to do. Why not get a workout in, while combining it with the benefits of a workout? Pilates workout should be embraced to strengthen and tone the muscles to make it easier to go up the stairs or get the chores done faster.
Pilates Benefit 7: Get rid of stress
Pilates coordinates the body mind and spirit; therefore it is possible to get rid of everyday stress through Pilates workout. Since the workout can be done on a mat one does not need to have lots of money to get it done. Always remember to warm-up before beginning a workout program to allow your muscles to stretch to avoid injuries to the tissue. It’s also a fantastic mid-work day workout!
Pilates Benefit 8: Improved mind health
A lot of concentration is required in a Pilates workout; therefore the mind is involved in the process helping it remain healthy even as one ages. In addition, Pilates is recommended for persons who are easily distracted in order to help them increase their concentration ability in due course. It’s a great exercise to practice mindfulness, and making sure you are in the moment.
Pilates Benefit 9: Beautiful skin
Increased blood circulation due to deep breathing included in the Pilates workout provides more oxygen into the body that contributes to beautiful skin. Furthermore, since waste is eliminated from the body, good health is achieved, which is reflected by gorgeous skin!