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Pilates and Your Health and Wellness: Does It Really Work?

Pilates used to be associated exclusively for women but through the years, more and more men have been engaging in this unfamiliar form of exercise. It is quite similar to yoga in so many ways but it involves repetitive cycles that are held more shortly whereas yoga involves slow movements held for a long time to improve one’s own balance and flexibility.

With pilates classes now becoming a hype more than ever, the question prevails among the curious ones—does it really work?

To satisfy your curiosity, we have rounded up a few factors that make it distinct from the other forms of workouts and what makes it effective:

  • It was designed to aid in faster recovery

Joseph Pilates was a German man who was a big fitness enthusiast and after obtaining an injury, he specifically created an exercise method which aided his own recovery. Being a martial artist, gymnast, bodybuilder, diver, and well-versed in human anatomy, designing this method almost came out naturally. He originally called it “Contrology” which was later changed to his own surname that we now know as pilates.

  • It burns less fat than an extensive workout

While pilates does raise your heart rate, it cannot be considered a cardio exercise because it only burns a minimal amount of fat compared to running on the treadmill or on natural landscapes. So it should be duly noted that if your plan is to lose weight, then pilates isn’t the right workout for you. Despite that, however, it does improve your body composition, it helps your support your body weight more, and it definitely builds up a stronger core in order for you to withstand any injury that could have made a worse impact on your body. It doesn’t require much heavy equipment as well, having a simple mat is enough for you to get a headstart on your pilates workout.

  • It improves your flexibility

Pilates does not only strengthen your muscles, but it will also improve their elasticity and joint mobility. By incorporating movement patterns with specific functions tailored for your system, “pulling a muscle” won’t even be a problem anymore. In line with that, you’ll have better blood circulation within your body and you’ll surely be able to do daily activities without easily obtaining an injury.

  • It improves your posture

Pilates introduces your body to welcome a healthy pattern that can contribute to better posture. By utilizing our muscles to enable us to move more efficiently, it removes the pressure off of our compressed organs and it reduces pain all throughout our body. With more toned muscles and a trimmer appearance, you’ll have more confidence and self-discipline to retain that straight posture throughout the day.

  • It reduces stress

Doing your pilates lets you focus more on the workout rather than on the mundane subject matters that typically cloud your mind, therefore, taking your mind off of the stressful things. Each move must be done with a specific movement and precision so deep concentration is needed. It will also involve specific breathing patterns which will condition your mind, allowing you to relax and relieve yourself of the anxieties that you have within. The more you incorporate pilates into your daily activities, the less anxious and stressed you will be.

  • It strengthens your core

If the main goal for a cardio-heavy workout is to lose weight, pilates is more on the core-strengthening aspect and a typical session for it will mostly involve your abdominal and lower back muscles. If you haven’t had any experience with core-strengthening exercises, pilates will be able to improve your torso’s strength. To achieve optimum results, you will have to begin using machines built for pilates such as the reformer, wunda chair, tower, cadillac, ladder barrel, and foot corrector—machines that Joseph Pilates designed himself so you can have support while you build resistance.

Other health benefits of Pilates:

  • Prevention of injuries
  • Improved concentration
  • Rehabilitation of existing injuries
  • Increased body awareness
  • Decreased stress
  • Relaxation

This form of exercise has been proven to contribute more to improved posture, strength, flexibility, balance and stronger thighs and arms, all of which can ultimately improve your performance for daily activities. Along with a balanced diet, incorporating pilates into your daily life can lead to a better physical and mental health while strengthening your immune system. If you consider taking advantage of this exercise, getting the appropriate pilates clothing can surely help.

About the Author Karen Hart

Karen Hart is a writer contributing to Pilates Pal. Her passion for her craft gave her this desire to write topics that aren't just clearly explained, but are fit for her readers' needs. She herself is a fitness enthusiast, Pilates clothing fan and tries new workout routines to spice up her fitness journey.

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