10 Reasons Why You Should Practice Pilates

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Developed in the early 1900s, Pilates is a form of exercise that uses simple yet effective poses that focus on low-impact flexibility and muscular strength. It is a total-body workout that emphasizes the use of your abs, thighs, hips and lower back through repetitive movements.
Pilates is great for people of all fitness levels, from serious athletes to fitness novices and even those rehabilitating from injuries. It is also a very flexible workout (pun intended). With thousands of exercises and possible modifications for beginners and advanced practitioners, it is great for experienced yogis who want to supplement their yoga practice and new moms who are looking to blast away that baby weight.
Here are 10 reasons why you should practice Pilates:

1. Full-Body Workout

Pilates engages your core and helps you develop balanced muscle strength throughout your entire body. It also helps you develop long, lean, and toned muscles, and increases your overall flexibility and range of motion in your joints. Pilates is an intense workout and with a dedicated practice, you can see results quickly, which will give you motivation to keep practicing.

2. Increased Energy

Pilates, just like all forms of physical activity, provides you with the benefits of increased energy. The more you exercise, the more energy you will have. Pilates gets your blood circulating, breath flowing and stimulates all of the muscles in your body to feel energized. After your practice, you will feel a rush of energy as the endorphins course through your body.

3. Mind/Body Awareness

Similar to yoga, during Pilates, you move with complete attention and intention. You center your mind and focus on your breath, spinal and pelvic alignment and concentrate on your body’s precise movements, control and flow. The practice is about releasing tension and uniting your mind and body by being mindful of your movements.

4. Prevent Injury

A strong, balanced body is less likely to be injured, while an imbalanced body can lead to injury and pain. Pilates has been known to be a rehabilitative tool that can improve back pain without the need for medication. Pilates works all of the muscles in your body, leaving no muscle group over or under trained.

5. Strong Core

Poor posture can cause imbalances in your back, head, shoulders, neck and even hips, causing pain throughout your body. Good posture is achieved by a strong core, which includes the muscles in your back, abdomen and pelvic floor. A strong core supports your body and allows your shoulders and neck to relax and release stress and pressure.

6. Weight Loss

Losing weight is typically a simple formula of burning more calories than you take in. Pilates, when combined with aerobic exercises like running or jogging, is a great method to lose weight and improve the muscle tone in your body. Pilates is a full-body workout that can transform your body!

7. Long and Lean Musculature

Commitment to a regular Pilates practice will help you develop a long, lean and defined physique. Pilates helps you develop longer, stronger muscles with improved muscle tone and core, which encourages you to have great posture. During your practice, you will use both sides of your body equally to achieve balance and alignment.

8. Little-To-No Equipment Required

While many people practice Pilates on a reformer machine, a traditional Pilates practice only requires a yoga mat or a pair of grippy socks to help you maintain your grounding and prevent slipping. You can stream Pilates sequences online and tailor your workouts to your needs from the comfort of your own home.

9. Relieve Stress

Many people store emotions, anxiety and stress in the body, which is evidenced in poor posture, clenched jaws and tight hips, pain, muscle spasms and hypertension. Physical activity metabolizes stress hormones and relieves stress tension that builds up in your body. Pilates relaxes and gives you control of your core muscles that store your emotional baggage.

10. Me Time

Pilates is also an invigorating escape from the ho-hum routine of your daily life. During your practice, you give yourself an important dose of “me time” to put aside all of your cares and worries.

Pilates offers numerous benefits for people of all ages, fitness capabilities and backgrounds. It offers a head-to-toe workout that can challenge you and quite literally transform your body, increasing your flexibility, strength and balance. Whether you are looking to tone up, lose weight or simply spice up your existing exercise routine, Pilates is a great workout choice!

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