by Denise Austin
Possibly one of the most exciting aspects of Pilates is that anyone can do it, and everyone can achieve amazing results. Because there’s no bouncing, jarring, or stress to your body, Pilates offers the ideal form of exercise for people who, because of joint pain or muscle weakness, shy away from exercise.
It’s also convenient. You don’t need any heavy, expensive equipment, and you can do Pilates anywhere, anytime. Some of the routines take less than 10 minutes, making Pilates the perfect form of exercise for anyone who finds there’s not enough time in the day for exercise. You have 10 minutes to strengthen your abs and back, don’t you? You’ll start to see and feel results in as few as 10 sessions.
Just some of the many ways you can benefit from doing Pilates regularly include:
A Healthy, Supple Spine
Pilates gives more support to your spine, creating space between each vertebra. That extra space not only makes you appear taller, it also creates more mobility, transforming your spine from a stiff rod into a supple string of pearls. This new suppleness prevents degenerative spinal problems, such as slipped disks. It also helps you move with more grace and ease.
Kinder, Gentler Conditioning
If you’re out of shape, Pilates provides a wonderful way to ease into any kind of fitness plan. Pilates puts no stress on your joints and no wear and tear on your ligaments and cartilage around your joints, especially your knee and shoulder joints. It conditions your muscles in a balanced way and increases your self-awareness by drawing your focus inward. In reality, Pilates is very rehabilitative. It’s almost like going to physical therapy sessions. In fact, unlike other forms of exercise, you can safely do Pilates every day without overstressing your muscles or joints. To see results, however, you need to do Pilates only three times a week. But you have to be consistent. That’s the key.
Improved Mental Outlook and Increased Motivation
Pilates benefits your emotional health. The smooth, steady movements quiet your mind and soothe your nervous system. As you lengthen and strengthen your muscles, you’ll improve your circulation and whisk tension away. Each workout will leave you feeling calm, balanced, and rejuvenated. Focus on letting the tension go, and you’ll be on the path to a healthier body inside and out.
Better Balance, More Coordination
In your 40s, balance starts to deteriorate as your muscles weaken and your nerve receptors lose sensitivity. Pilates reverses this aging process by stabilizing your core. Pilates works the small, deep muscles needed to keep your body steady when walking and your spine both supple and strong.
Less Pain and Stiffness
If you suffer from osteoarthritis pain, you’ll find that lengthening your body through Pilates will help soothe the soreness. Appropriate exercise is vital to managing arthritis, because it increases flexibility for stretches and reduces pain and fatigue. Stretching helps pump vital nutrients to your muscles and tendons, which help keep them healthy and minimize your risk of injury. It also stimulates the production of joint lubricants (synovial fluid) and prevents adhesions. As circulation increases, your legs, back, neck, and shoulders loosen up, relieving aches and stiffness. Pilates also leads to subtle posture improvements, which will also eliminate tension, driving away headaches, backaches, neck aches, and other aches and pains.