Pilates for a Healthier Body

For those people who understand that they need to protect their bodies in various ways as they age, in order to preserve optimum health for as long as possible, discovering new exercise and fitness options is always great and welcome news. Hitting the gym is a popular option when it comes to keeping fit, as is running, cycling, yoga and team sports, such as football and rugby. If you partake in any of these activities then you will inevitably be doing your body a great deal of good. Pilates is one activity that you may not yet know the amazing benefits of that could really boost your health and fitness efforts.

What is Pilates?

Pilates is a combination of different exercises that often uses special equipment that is aimed at increasing your strength, improving your flexibility, correcting your posture and also at enhancing your mental awareness. When you participate in regular pilates sessions, you will find that any back pain you are struggling with may begin to ease and your bone density will get better. For these reasons, and more, it is a great choice for adding into an existing exercise routine.

Pilates for Weight Loss

For those who have weight loss as their primary motivation for exercising, pilates can really help to encourage those extra pounds to be shed. Cutting back on the amount of calories that you are consuming each day will of course be one of the biggest contributors to weight loss, but when you throw pilates into the mix you will be thereby helping your body to burn a large amount of calories. Different pilates workouts will vary in intensity, with the most physically demanding workouts leading to the largest amount of calories used.

Core Strength and Muscle Imbalances

As you continue to progress into your pilates practice with time, you will notice that your back muscles will particularly experience the benefits of you doing so. Your core strength will also feel the advantages and your abdominal muscles should become more prominent. Within a pilates workout a lot of attention is paid to contracting the abdominal muscles. Some studies have shown this exercise to be more effective in toning the abs than doing a comparative amount of crunches. Furthermore, pilates has the potential to correct issues in the back that can cause poor posture and general problems with the spine. This is especially beneficial to those who work a desk job, as sitting in the same position for long periods of time will cause imbalances in your muscles. Not only does pilates have the potential to be able to fix these imbalances once they have already occurred, it can also help to prevent future muscle imbalances from developing.

Preventing Injuries with Pilates

Preventing injuries is a prime reason for exercising, along with weight loss and fitness goals. Being able to future-proof your body through the strengthening and conditioning of it is key to preserving function and protecting against the effects of accidents, such as falls. By generally improving your flexibility and your balance, pilates is able to help you to avoid such accidents in the first place, as well as better protecting your body from injury when accidents do happen. When you have a greater range of motion within your body, due to adequate stretching and strength exercises, you will be much less likely to hurt yourself.

Cardiovascular Health

Your cardiovascular health should always be a top priority due to the important role your heart plays in keeping you healthy. The aerobic benefits of a pilates workout are not to be overlooked, especially when you are incorporating the more advanced movements into your session. You can also aim to move rapidly from one movement to the next and decreasing the amount of rest time between various exercises within a pilates session for better results.

Orthopedic Health

When it comes to orthopedic health, pilates is a great weapon and it can be of great benefit to those who are already suffering from osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition that involves the bones in the body becoming brittle and weakened over time. By strengthening the bones, pilates can help to prevent fractures and breaks, which sufferers of osteoporosis are at a heightened risk of. However, it must be noted that if you are suffering from osteoporosis then you should seek out a practitioner who specialises or has a serious knowledge of teaching pilates to people with this condition. This is because not all levels of pilates classes are suitable for sufferers of this condition and a session should be tailored to ensure the practice is completely safe. You should certainly seek professional guidance before practicing pilates on your own as a person with osteoporosis. Additionally, if you are over the age of 50 then you should also seek professional guidance before embarking upon this type of exercise.

References

1) https://www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/modifying-pilates-for-clients-with-osteoporosis

2) http://www.everydayhealth.com/osteoporosis/pilates-exercises-for-osteoporosis.aspx

3) http://www.livestrong.com/slideshow/1011129-10-surprising-benefits-pilates/