Pilates: A Low-Impact Exercise Regime for the Mind and Body

#WellnessWednesday Pilates: A Low-Impact Exercise Regime for the Mind and Body

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Pilates is a very underrated form of exercise which is perfect for those who are not comfortable with heavy-duty cardio workout sessions. Not many are aware that pilates exercise is beneficial for your physical as well as mental well being. It is a regimewhich benefits the mind and body; designed to lengthen, strengthen and restore the body's balance. In this blog, we will discuss why most people opt for pilates, its health benefits, mental benefits and why it is very important to find a workout regime that suits your body, rather than killing yourself at the gym.

Pilates Explained 

Joseph Pilates, a physical trainer was the first who introduced Pilates in the United States in the year 1920 to help injured sports people and dancers to return back to their fitness regime. Since then pilates gained popularity among people. While doing pilates exercise, you need to focus and concentrate, as your body moves through precise ranges of motion. Pilates stretches the muscles of the whole body in a well-balanced manner. When practising Pilates exercise, you need to find a center point to control your body's movements. You should follow the prescribed breathing, placement, and rhythm while performing each exercise.

Pilates is not a rigorous form of exercise, all you need is concentration. Your body muscles are not exhausted so there is no sweating. Exercise sequences are repeated five to ten times during a 40-90 minute duration.

Special classes are conducted by professional trainers at Pilates studio, physiotherapy centre or at your local community centre. A classical Pilates studio is a place where people are trained to practice the authentic and original teachings of Joseph Pilates.

Types Of Pilates 

This form of exercise is basically of 2 types

Mat Based- A series of exercises performed on the floor that utilizes gravity and your body weight for resistance. It mainly focuses on improving the flexibility of the deeper muscles on your body to improve body posture, providing better coordination and balance.

Equipment Based - In this type of pilates, specific equipment such as ‘reformer’ is utilized that work against spring-loaded resistance. Reformers are beds-like frames that move back and forth on a track by wheels. Reformers are also used as a cross-training tool for athletes.

Pilates For Improving The Quality Of Your Life? 

Studies show that practising pilates enhances the quality of your life as it helps to reduce stress and tension by relaxing your body muscles and providing quality sleep. Good sleep has a positive effect on your mind and body, eliminating tiredness and fatigue. It enhances your body awareness, making you focused, thus improving performance at your workplace. Practising pilates enhances flexibility, mobility, and strength in your muscles and joints, so you can remain active throughout the day without feeling tired or stressed out. If you are looking to shed some calories without too much effort, then pilates is perfect for you. Even pregnant women and the elderly can do pilates. This exercise should always be done under the guidance of an expert.

Who Should Opt For Pilates? 

Pilates was initially developed by Joseph Pilates as a rehabilitative tool for injured sports people and dancers so that they can gradually get back in shape after the injury.

Pilates is considered to be safe for all age groups. Under the guidance of a pro, even over-weight and old people can perform these exercises. Pilates for beginners involves a series of low impact exercises that help to stretch your body muscles making it more flexible.

Pilates for beginners is a series of simple workouts and is perfect for anyone who is new to it and good for those who have just recovered from an injury. Pilates allows flexible movement of the parts of the body which are dysfunctional due to an injury or any medical condition.

Pilates For Physical Well Being 

Pilates corrects structural imbalances that create pain and difficulty moving in the body. Let us understand how pilates is beneficial for your physical well-being.

  • Improves the flexibility of body parts.
  • Aids in strengthening and toning of your muscles, particularly your abdominal muscles, hips, lower back, and buttocks
  • Improves the posture.
  • Improved muscular control of your back and limbs.
  • Improves body balance and physical coordination of the body parts.
  • It strengthens the core muscles. Core muscles are those muscles that are present in the pelvic areas and the abdomen.
  • It enhances the length and strength of the body muscles. Pilates adds strength to your lower body, upper body and abdominal muscles. It is especially beneficial for older individuals.
  • People of all age groups can benefit from pilates as it is a low-impact workout contrary to the regular workout that you do at the gym. It mainly focuses on proper alignment of the body, mind-body connection, and building core strength.

Pilates For Mental Well Being 

Now that you are well aware of its health benefits, let’s move on to further understand how pilates is beneficial for your mental well-being.

  • Pilates mainly focuses on improving concentration, helps you to concentrate on your current moment. Through Pilates, you become more aware of yourself and your surroundings. It helps to sharpen your mind and memory.
  • It also helps reduce stress and anxiety. Through breathing exercises, you can relax your mind and body. It helps alleviate panic attacks and is beneficial in regaining emotional balance.
  • Pilates is beneficial in improving your sleep. Proper sleep is a must for the general well-being of an individual. Having a good night's sleep ensures you wake up the next morning feeling fully recharged and energized, preventing fatigue.

The purpose of Pilates is not only to strengthen muscles and improve your body balance but also to improve your mind-body connection. You become more alert, more focused, and full of positive energy.

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