Pilates is a series of about 500 exercises. Pilates is partly inspired by yoga but is different in one key respect. Yoga is made up of a series of static postures, while Pilates is based on putting yourself into unstable postures and challenging your body by moving your limbs. This article will list 15 Health benefits of pilates and general precautions for people.
Yoga brings the body and mind together and is built on three main elements – exercise, breathing, and meditation. Both yoga and Pilates improve muscular and postural strength.
Pilates lengthens and stretches all the major muscle groups in your body in a balanced fashion. It requires concentration in finding a center point to control your body through movement. Each exercise has a prescribed placement, rhythm and breathing pattern.
In Pilates, your muscles are never worked to exhaustion, so there is no sweating or straining, just intense concentration. The workout consists of a variety of exercise sequences that are performed in low repetitions, usually five to ten times, over a session of 45 to 90 minutes. Mat work and specialized equipment for resistance are used.
Is Pilates suitable for everyone?
Pilates caters for everyone, from beginner to advanced. You can perform exercises using your own body weight, or with the help of various pieces of equipment.
A typical Pilates workout includes a number of exercises and stretches. Each exercise is performed with attention to proper breathing techniques and abdominal muscle control. To gain the maximum benefit, you should do Pilates at least two or three times per week. You may notice postural improvements after 10 to 20 sessions.
Health benefits of Pilates
Pilates lengthens and stretches all the major muscle groups in the body in a balanced fashion. It improves flexibility, strength, balance and body awareness. The health benefits of Pilates include:
- improved flexibility
- increased muscle strength and tone, particularly of your abdominal muscles, lower back, hips and buttocks (the ‘core muscles’ of your body)
- balanced muscular strength on both sides of your body
- enhanced muscular control of your back and limbs
- improved stabilization of your spine
- improved posture
- rehabilitation or prevention of injuries related to muscle imbalances
- improved physical coordination and balance
- relaxation of your shoulders, neck and upper back
- safe rehabilitation of joint and spinal injuries
- prevention of musculoskeletal injuries
- increased lung capacity and circulation through deep breathing
- improved concentration
- increased body awareness
- stress management and relaxation.
Pilates and general precautions
- people who have recently had surgery
- pregnant women
- people aged 40 years or more
- people with a pre-existing medical condition such as heart disease
- people with pre-existing musculoskeletal injuries or disorders
- anyone who has not exercised for a long time
- people who are very overweight or obese.