Benefits of Pilates
If you are looking for a way to recover from an injury, or simply get and stay fit with low impact exercise that is proven to tone and build muscle integrity in the core and throughout the body, then pilates may be a good fit for your needs. Read on to discover more about this popular and beneficial exercise. 

Is Pilates Right for You?

Most people who are in good physical condition and also want to recover from an injury that has healed, or who want to improve their muscle tone and condition are good candidates for Pilates. There are a few instances where you should consult your physician before attempting to do Pilates. If any of these situations apply to you, seek a professional opinion before participating: 

  • People who have a heart condition
  • Some physical restrictions
  • Pregnant women
  • People over 40

Of course, there are other instances where you should consult your physician. If you have any reservations or questions about Pilates, you should address them with your doctor first. 

What is Pilates?

The form of exercise known as Pilates was originally invented by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s. It is a combination of Yoga techniques and physical therapy concepts and application. Where is varies from Yoga is that it involves the use of controlled movements that require participants to focus their energy and efforts on prescribed motions in low repetition. The point is to focus on muscle movement rather than exertion and elevated heart rates. Some Pilates classes use basic universal movements, and others use equipment such as exercise bands. Beginner classes focus primarily on the movements and perfecting techniques. If you are advanced and have mastered basic skills, then using equipment may be the next step. 

One of the great points of taking Pilates classes is that they can be structured to fit each person individually. The routines can be evaluated periodically to fit your level of fitness, progress, and personal goals. 

Pilates can Help Maintain Physical Health

Over the course of time, people who regularly practice Pilates notice that they have improved physical conditioning. It helps to strengthen key areas such as the core and maintains flexibility, which keeps you from problems associated with premature aging. All ranges of physical condition and abilities can benefit from Pilates sessions. They can be modified over time to reflect your progress and current abilities. 

Improve Focus

One of the primary concepts that Pilates teaches focuses on breathing and muscle control. Over time, these practices will become apparent in other areas of your daily life. Improved focus can help you further your efforts at work during the day as well as help you achieve important goals you have set for yourself with greater ease. This is just one of the many benefits which will manifest through regular Pilates sessions. 

What to Expect

If you are interested in beginning your journey to physical recovery, or if you are looking for an effective, low impact method of keeping and maintaining your physical condition, then you should look into Pilates. Pilates classes are usually recommended 2 to 3 times per week. If you are advanced then you may choose to add an extra day or two to your routine. 

If you take a Pilates class, you can expect the length of time for each class to be anywhere from 45 minutes to 90 minutes. Before you enroll in a class, you should take the time to speak with the instructor to get an idea of what to expect. Ask about how they can personalize your training sessions to target specific needs. Most Pilates instructors will help you set a goal or create some type of plan to help you see the results you are hoping for over the course of time. This will help you prevent injuries and gradually improve muscle function and tone. 

Pilates has become incredibly popular all over the world. It is easy to find a qualified instructor in most cities. Do some searching before making your selection to find out about each of the potential instructors and classes available in your area. It may be helpful to ask some friends or family members where to begin your search if you know they take Pilates and see positive results. Some studios may even allow you to sit in on a session before deciding if you want to sign up for further classes. Choose a class and instructor that makes you feel comfortable and motivated to make Pilates a regular part of your weekly routine so you can get the full benefit of this incredible exercise. 

Recommended Reading and Sources: