The Pilates Method of body movement has swept the mainstream fitness industry worldwide nearly a hundred years since it was created by Joseph Pilates in the early 1900s. Initially adopted by dancers, actors and athletes, it has become known for increasing flexibility, balance and core strength among its practitioners, men and women alike. Pilates today improves and maintains fitness, tones the body, decreases tension, strengthens the core and helps recovery from injury. Unlike the concentrated effort of weightlifting or aerobics, smooth low-impact movement is key to strengthening the body’s core through deep abdominal muscles and the muscles closest to the spine. A streamlined body and reduced body weight, as well as increased fitness, are part of the attraction of the Pilates method.
Here are some of the other benefits you might look forward to from Pilates.
1. Reduced pain – Pilates improves health by ensuring balanced core muscles, avoiding overuse or underuse of any part of the body. Learning to move smoothly and developing bodily awareness can help you to discard bad posture habits and eliminate chronic pain from poor ergonomics in office or computer work. Learning to be in tune with your body means that poor movement or body imbalance can be recognized and eliminated. This helps prevents locking tension into the parts of the body that carry tension and stress. When you release the tension in chronically tight muscles, you restore flexibility and range of motion, and that reduces pain.
2. Increased energy – When you are feeling a mid-day slump, do you automatically reach for a temporary boost from coffee, tea, a caffeinated drink or energy drink? Too much caffeine can wind up making you jittery instead of more alert. Improving your posture will open up the breathing passages and free the diaphragm to pull more air into the lungs. As more air fills the lungs, and richer oxygen levels course through the bloodstream, circulation improves and more energy is available for your muscles. The movement of the body with good balance is smoother, more efficient and uses less energy. That means that more energy is available for the activities of your daily life, and you can enjoy enhanced well-being as well!
3. Better sleep – As Pilates strengthens the core, the core abdominal muscles become flat and streamlined, and flexibility and range of motion are improved throughout the body and the back and neck. When you have learned to recognize and release long held tension in your muscles, stress will also be reduced. Reducing the stress level, will also reduce problems with insomnia, and you will begin to sleep longer and more deeply.
As you can see, Pilates is among the best ways to keep the mind and body in a balanced state. It allows its practitioners to enjoy other types of activities and sports by enhancing fitness. Pilates classes are offered in fitness centers and gyms, or can be practiced with books or videos. No special clothing or equipment is needed so a beginner can easily take part although it could be beneficial to take some classes from experienced professionals.
Pilates is also found accompanying rehabilitation programs in sports injury clinics that offer remedial massage in Melbourne. To learn more about how Pilates can restore core strength and stability, you can visit City Osteopathy at cityosteopathy.com.au.