Pilates: What Is It and Why It’s Good for You

Pilates, similar to yoga, challenges your flexibility and balance, but unlike yoga, Pilates focuses on putting yourself into unstable positions. There are different types of Pilates you can follow no matter your fitness because Pilates doesn’t work your body to exhaustion but instead requires great focus and concentration of your mind and body. 

Types of Pilates

One type is mat-based Pilates. This is when exercises are done on the floor which is why a mat is required. You use gravity and your body weight to support yourself and you try to improve your posture, coordination, and balance as you get into positions. This type forces your muscles to focus and maintain postures. 

Equipment-based Pilates is another type of Pilates, but this is more focused on equipment. There is specific equipment used for this type such as weights or dumbbells, or other small equipment that have resistance or work against a spring force. 

Both types can be followed on YouTube or even through online Pilates classes where a trained professional can guide you through the exercises. They are different and perhaps you want to try both to find which one is better for you and your body and fitness level. 

Why Pilates?

There are many health benefits to doing Pilates. One is that it improves your flexibility as you have to move and get into certain positions and this tests how well flexible you are and gives you a chance to keep improving. Another benefit is that it increases your abdominal muscles and lower back muscle strength as well as your limbs. 

By strengthening these muscles and limbs and improving your flexibility and balance, you will have less chance of getting injured. Pilates not only improves your balance, but it also balances the muscles in your body so that they are not too loose or weak or too tight. 

Additionally, this improves posture and stabilizing your spine and coordination as it focuses on alignment of your full body. Pilates also increases your energy because as mentioned before, it is meant to focus on your breathing and increase and improve oxygen flow throughout your body. As your body receives more oxygen and circulation is improved, you will feel more energized. 

Pilates also betters your body awareness because although you are using your body, it also requires deep focus of the mind and the sensations around you. When you enhance your body awareness, your body will be better at responding to stimulus and prevent you from getting any injuries. Other points are that it reduces stress due to better and controlled breathing, reduces menstrual pain as you move your entire body, and can also boost your immune system and strengthen your bones. 

Pilates has many benefits to your body but not just one area of your body, but to all sectors including your mind and awareness. This helps strength your bones, muscles, and your mind as well and with a healthier body, you are less prone to injuries and infections too. There are many different ways to try Pilates and see if it works for you.

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