Pilates: Your Workout for Better Health

Pilates Defined:
Pilates is a physical fitness system that involves low-intensity exercises and stretches, most often done with the aid of special equipments. It is said that the Pilates method is governed by six principles—control, concentration, flow, center, precision, and breathing.

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Control: This refers to muscle control.The idea of concentration while doing Pilates is to ensure that you can exercise control on all areas of your body at any given aspect in time. All exercises are done with utmost control as the Pilates method teaches you to be the one in control of your body and not fall into its mercy.

Concentration: The Pilates workout demands extreme focus. Concentration is needed for you to be able to do swift movements—not easy but is very much achievable with constant practice.

Centering: The starting place of everything—the core. The center of the body is the focal point of Pilates. Your core muscles—abs, lower and upper back, buttocks, hips and inner thighs is what composes your “powerhouse”. In the world of Pilates, all movements must originate from the powerhouse stretching out to your limbs. A strong powerhouse equates to a strong body, as what this method teaches.

Flow: Pilates aims for grace—efficient flow and transitions. It is said that once precision is achieved, the exercises will then flow within each other to create better stamina and strength.
Precision: In Pilates, exercising without precision will just remove its value or benefits.

Breathing: This is important in every Pilates move as it delivers fresh oxygenated blood to your cells making you feel more alive and active all throughout your session.

Pilates: The Benefits

A lot of people have attested to the effectivity of Pilates as an exercise routine. Pilates can bring forth improvements in terms of flexibility, range of motion, posture, circulation and abdominal strength. Pilates can also help decrease the occurrences of neck, back and joint pains. If you’re curious as to what other health benefits you can reap from doing Pilates, then go ahead and read on:

1. Pilates creates body awareness.
Pilates is a kind of education focusing on body awareness and posture. It teaches its practitioners to train their minds and build symmetry and coordination in the body. It makes people aware of their postures and habits, and how those can affect their daily lives. For example, being aware that that chronic twitch in your neck is the result of you sitting all day in front of a computer with nary an activity to break the monotony.
2. Pilates can give you a stronger core.
People often confuse flat abs with stronger core muscles, and it’s really important to not equate one from the other. Usually, when people look want a slimmer waist and a flatter stomach, they want weight loss, not a stronger core. They don’t realize that a stronger core can protect your back from ailments and other injuries such as stiffness, sprains, and sciatica. Those being said, instead of looking at Pilates as a way to a flatter stomach, choose to see it as a vehicle to get a healthier and stronger back and body.
3. Pilates gives you body control:
Pilates teaches you how to move properly and graciously—it makes you move in synergy.

Pilates: Is it for Everyone?

Most adults experience back pain at some point in their lives. And at any given point in time, around 25% of adults will have chronic back pain. Given this scenario, it would seem that Pilates, along with other exercises that focus on muscle stability are good fits to treating chronic back pain. However, not all pain is created equal. Without proper diagnosis on the roots of your back pain, doing Pilates may do you more harm than good.

Doing regular Pilates workouts can make you aware of your body—you’ll know where your weak spots are, which can be your focus of improvements. Knowing your body’s weak spots is not always a pleasurable experience but striving to improve on those areas can in turn lead to an increase in your quality of life.

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