12 Mar 4 Pilates Health Benefits You Never Expected!
If you’re reading this article, it’s likely that you’ve already heard that Pilates is good for your body. However, there are so many ways that Pilates can improve your life in addition to protecting and strengthening your muscles!
Here are four of my favourite health benefits of Pilates:
#1 Protects your body
The benefits of Pilates are not just limited to the muscles that it works out.
Pilates also improves your flexibility, muscle tone and posture, all of which contribute to better joint health. As a result of these factors combined, you will be able to move with more ease and feel less pain when walking or sitting for long periods of time.
The intention of Pilates is to realign your body. We all have compensatory movement patterns which we adopt in our daily lives. This is a fancy way of saying we find ways to cheat to move better. This translates to our body adopting negative ways of moving that over the long term can cause pain and discomfort.
The work you do on your Pilates mat is intended to realign your body so that it moves with more ease off your mat in your everyday life.
#2 Improves your posture
Pilates helps improve posture. Good posture can help you look younger, feel less pain and even breathe better (yes, it’s true!).
When we think of Pilates, most people imagine moulding their body into some kind of ballerina-esque shape—but did you know that good posture is a major focus?
Here are some reasons why improving your posture could have huge benefits for both your physical health and mental well-being:
- It assists in breathing deeper into the abdomen. This helps to reduce stress and calm your nervous system.
- Pilates strengthens muscles that support the spine and back. As these muscles get stronger they will help you from slouching or stooping over and encourage proper alignment of the pelvis on top of the spine.
Are you looking to improve your posture but not sure where to begin? Start with building your core strength! As a certified Pilates instructor, I have created a Core Essential Cheat Sheet of 5 simple exercises you can do to get started.
I know my online Pilates class members are always proud of themselves after their yearly physicals when the doctor tells them they have grown taller. I grew over an inch in height after adopting a regular Pilates practice. A wonderful surprise that I am grateful for.
#3 Prevents osteoporosis
Pilates is not just about improving your “six pack” or building muscle definition. It also helps to build bone density, which prevents osteoporosis and other bone diseases. Pilates strengthens the muscles around your joints, which keeps them healthy and reduces joint pain.
Did you know osteoporosis is known as the “silent thief” since bone deterioration can occur over a number of years without any symptoms?
Since Pilates is a low-impact exercise program using light weights, your own body weight or resistance to build muscle this makes it a great exercise choice to prevent osteoporosis. According to Bone Health and Osteoporosis Foundation, being female increases your risk of osteoporosis. Approximately 1 in 2 women over the age of 50 will fracture a bone due to osteoporosis.
Working with a Pilates instructor who understands the over-60 body means it’s never too late to start a regular Pilates practice. Pilates is an excellent workout to start at any time throughout your life.
#4 Connects the mind and body
Pilates is a mind-body exercise. The brain and body communicate through the nervous system. This means that while you’re doing Pilates on your mat, your brain will be sending messages to your muscles telling them how to move and work together in order to accomplish certain tasks.
This helps to calm the mind, and reduce racing thoughts. It’s hard to think of what you are going to have for dinner when you are too busy paying attention to how your body is moving on your Pilates mat! It keeps you in the present moment.
In addition, Pilates focuses on the breath. You’ll be cued to breathe throughout a Pilates class which is what I consider a moving meditation.
Pilates is good for you in so many ways
Pilates is good for your body, mind and soul. It can help you with your posture, protect your body and improve mobility and calm the mind.
Pilates is one of those exercises that has been proven time after time through research studies to be beneficial in many ways: improving balance; reducing back pain; preventing osteoporosis due to strengthening bones and increasing energy levels which leads to feeling more energized in your daily life.
It’s easy enough that even beginners can do it (just be sure to follow an experienced instructor) and listen to your body.
Pilates is an amazing way to keep your body healthy and strong. It’s also a great way to maintain a positive attitude about yourself, which is important for keeping good physical health. If you’ve never tried Pilates before – now is a perfect time! With these four tips, I hope that you’ll give Pilates a try to help improve your life both on and off the mat.
Christine Kirkland is a Certified Pilates Instructor offering online Pilates classes. She specializes in helping adults to increase their balance, strength, mobility and feel their best every day.