What is Pilates?

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The term refers to a style of exercise that concentrates on strengthening the body. Its emphasis is on the strength of the core. This emphasis helps to improve general fitness as well as overall health.

Pilates focuses on posture, balance as well as flexibility. In it, the risk of injury is reduced as opposed to other more active forms of exercise. Pilates also concentrates on the mind-body connection, just as Yoga does. While doing the various exercises in your practice your mind needs to be constantly aware of your breathing. It also needs to be in tune with the way that your body is moving.

The History of Pilates

It was designed by Joseph Pilates in Germany where he was involved in carpentry and gymnastics. While he was living in the UK, he created the exercise form as a rehabilitation program for dancers and soldiers who were injured. Pilates thought that physical and mental health were intimately related. In the 1920s he immigrated to the United States. Here, he opened a Pilates studio in New York. Initially the form of exercise – which we know today as Pilates – was called Contrology.

What are the benefits of Pilates?

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The most-often asked a question about Pilates is “What are the health benefits”. As it concentrates on core strength, posture and flexibility the health benefits that you’ll experience – with Pilates – are the following:

Good posture – this exercise will guide you in gaining and maintaining good posture. The practices demand that your body is constantly in alignment. This is particularly useful if you experience lower back pain.

Muscle Tone – The activities involve using muscles that you may not use daily. After the first soreness, you’ll notice that your muscles will be much more toned. This is particularly good for older people as well as those who usually are quite sedentary in their daily life. This is because muscle tone is typically lost with age and inactivity.

Flat abdominal muscles – As the exercise concentrates on strengthening your core – which includes your abdominal muscles – you’ll find that one of the benefits of Pilates is that it will result in a flat stomach.

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Flexibility – As we get older we tend to lose the flexibility we enjoyed when we were younger. Pilates will return your flexibility.  After a while, you’ll be amazed at the increased flexibility of your body. This is especially crucial for avoiding injuries from falls.

Improves your balance – Within the mind-body connection – which (as we’ve already mentioned) is taught in Pilates – a great benefit is that you will become more conscious of how your body is affected and performs. Therefore Pilates not only develops your physical balance and fitness through correct posture but will also restore your mind-body balance.  

Reduces stress – You’ll be engrossed when you’re doing the exercises. This means that you won’t be able to think about all those responsibilities that weigh you down on a day-to-day basis.  This means that you’ll be more focused on your breathing as well as on the moves you are going through. This means that Pilates is an excellent way to relieve stress.

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Gives you a general sense of well-being – As Pilates focuses on producing a balance between your mind and body, it gives you an overall sense of health. The first time you take part in any new fitness class, it can be a little intimidating. However, for some reason, Pilates classes are just that extra daunting.

If you’ve ached to try Pilates classes, but something has been preventing you from doing this, now’s your time to register for your first one. As we’ve talked about in this article, this exercise offers plenty of benefits to your body, no matter what your fitness background is. You’ll improve your posture, focus on bodily alignment, and get one heck of a core workout. For more details please visit trifocusfitnessacademy.co.za