Pilates is a physical fitness system that was invented by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century. Its aim is to strengthen the body through movements and exercises incorporating specialist equipment, with a particular emphasis on increasing core strength. Like Yoga, Pilates can have a positive effect on both the body and the mind. Here are 4 ways that Pilates can improve your overall well-being.
1. Pilates will improve your body’s flexibility
One of the key focuses of Pilates is to increase your body’s flexibility and movement, which will improve your overall health. For many of us, we are sat down at desks working and little thought goes into getting up and stretching throughout the day. This can leave us with tight muscles or back pain but through the dynamic stretches that are incorporated into a Pilates routine this can be eradicated. The stretches focus on lengthening and expanding the muscles which will result in them becoming leaner, longer and increase in flexibility.
2. Pilates will improve your core strength
Pilate exercises are designed to target your core muscles and increase your body’s strength. The core consists of the deep abdominal muscles, the muscles closest to your spine, your pelvis and your lower back. A strong stable core will improve your coordination, flexibility and movement. This can be achieved through the use of specialist equipment like a Classic Cadillac system, a Wunda Chair, or a Tower System. The Classic Cadillac is actually an authentic version of Joseph Pilates' original apparatus and has a system of pulleys, handles and straps which can provide either resistance or support to maximise your Pilates workout.
3. Pilates will improve your balance
If you are accident prone or becoming more unbalanced as you age then Pilates will help to improve your balance and coordination. In Pilates, movements are repeated and require both the mind and body to focus on the task in hand. Through the repetition of these movements on equipment like the Peak Pilates Reformer, your core will improve and this will increase your ability to balance. You can also use additional accessories like the Peak Pilates Reformer Jump Board or a Long/short box to push yourself even further.
4. Pilates will help you relax and improve your mental health
Both Yoga and Pilates have been scientifically proven to lower stress levels and improve health problems such as high blood pressure. The deep breathing that is part of these exercises encourages circulation and can improve concentration levels. The physical activity of Pilates encourages your body to release endorphins which create a positive feeling and can lift your mood.
Pilates is a brilliant exercise for all fitness levels and the equipment required can be adapted to suit all abilities and will become part of your daily routine making it a more than worthwhile investment. Being new to Pilates should not put you off either as there are some great instructional workout DVD’s to guide you through using the equipment like the Perfect Pair Chair and Reformer Workout DVD. The more specific the DVD is to your equipment, the more you will get out of the apparatus.
With Pilates now accessible to users in their own home and fresh approaches meaning the practice stays relevant, we recommend shopping the Peak Pilates range as a starting point for anyone looking to get into Pilates or take their practice to another level.