Why Do I Love Pilates?
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Pilates is a form of exercise that’s grown in popularity over the years, but Joseph Pilates actually created the method in 1912 to help injured soldiers. During World War 1, and he rigged springs into hospital beds, which enabled the bedridden patients to exercise with resistance. This taught them a system we now call pilates.
Pilates is a unique physical discipline that doesn’t just tone your muscles, it actually changes the way you use your body. It helps improve strength, coordination, circulation, flexibility and posture. Here are 3 reasons pilates should be a part of your regular fitness routine:
Pilates Helps Develop Core Strength
We all want a flat belly, but more important is having a strong core. Pilates strengthens the back and abs by focusing on what is called a “powerhouse.” In pilates, you learn how to work the “powerhouse,” with techniques like knitting your ribcage together, engaging the lower belly, and lengthening the spine. After practicing pilates, these powerhouse tips become a basis for your your daily routine and posture. Powerhouse moves can help increase the strength of your entire core muscles (the muscles that run from your ribcage to your hips, on both the front and back and sides of your body). All of these ab and back muscles are important to engage if you want to prevent injuries and perfect your posture.
Pilates Increases Your Sense of Awareness and Body Control
Pilates re-trains your body so in your day-to-day motions, you have less risk of injuries and more efficient patterns of motion. You’ll start to focus a difference in your posture while you’re walking, sitting or standing. With this newfound awareness, you can alleviate aches and pains in the future.
Pilates is the cornerstone of so many other exercise disciplines and other activities you do in life, from swinging a tennis racquet to a golf club, strength training or yoga. Pilates becomes the foundation of these movements, because it helps build body control.
Pilates is Both Gentle And Challenging
Pilates is so safe that it’s used in physical therapy facilities and rehabilitation centers. Modifications allow for a range of difficulty from beginners to advanced. In fact, the better you get at pilates, the more challenging the exercises become. Although it’s gentle, there’s an attention required that changes your awareness.
I like to do a 10-minute Pilates sequence twice a week to keep my powerhouse in-check and strengthen my core. A few of my favorite moves are included in this 2-minute pilates for abs sequence (from my Fat Burning Pilates DVD):
So do yourself a favor and grab yourself a mat, and try out Pilates. Here’s to your health!