Benefits of Incorporating Pilates into your Life

Benefits of Incorporating Pilates into Your Life

benefits of Pilates

Pilates originated in the 1920’s and was originally intended to facilitate the rehabilitation of individuals that had suffered an injury or were battling a debilitating disease like arthritis, osteoporosis, and lower back pain, just to name a few.

However, it soon became apparent that regularly performing a Pilates fitness routine was an excellent form of exercise for virtually everyone. This being said, Pilates is an exercise type that focuses on both the physical and mental aspects of good health. For this reason, we recommend that virtually everyone consider adding a Pilates and/or Yoga routine to their overall fitness routine.

Provided below are just a few of the physical and mental benefits associated with incorporating a Pilates workout routine into your life on a regular basis. Remember, Pilates is one of the few exercise types that you can perform every day without the worries of over-stressing the joints, skeletal structure, or soft tissue.

Physical Benefits

  1. Lowers Blood Pressure: Studies have shown that regularly performing a Pilates exercise routine can actually help to lower blood pressure to normal levels if it is too high.

  2. In terms of lowering blood pressure: A study conducted in 2004 revealed fantastic benefits. A group of 25 people with an average blood pressure of 142mmHg (systolic) and 86mmHg (diastolic) participated in traditional yoga for 11 weeks. At the end of the study the average blood pressure of the group had dropped to 126mmHg (systolic) and 75mmHg (diastolic).

  3. Stretching: To assist in the recovery from an injury; individuals that participated in Pilates classes reported a decrease the amount of time that was required for several types of injuries to heal. Gentle stretches that can be held for 20 seconds without too much additional pain are all that are needed.

  4. The results of a survey exploring the types of injuries where Pilates was proven beneficial in reducing the recovery time were as follows: 50% had back injuries and 35% had knee injuries. The rest were arms, (7%) shoulders, (5%) and necks (3%).

  5. Minimizes Pain Associated with Arthritis: Many practitioners claim that Pilates is very valuable in the easing of pain associated with arthritis.

  6. Strengthens the Immune System: Some promising studies have shown that people that regularly practice Pilates have much stronger immune systems than those who do not. One key reason for this is that continuous activity without a break puts great stress on the body’s ability to protect itself from illness and infections.

  7. Reduced Muscle Tension: People that regularly experience tense muscles or joints often find Pilates to be a valuable agent in the reduction of the tense body parts.

  8. Reduction in Headaches: Pilates has often been shown to reduce or eliminate the pain associated with headaches and (sometimes) migraines. The long periods of mild activity may eliminate the pain or at least give you an extended break from it.

  9. Facilitates Weight Loss: People that are trying to lose weight may find Pilates particularly helpful. Several studies successfully showed that Pilates was very effective in both the control of ideal weight levels and the revamping of lost motivation or focus.

  10. Increased Lung Function and Capacity: The deep and soothing breaths associated with Pilates are often successful in the improvement of air flow and increasing of lung capacity. A recent wind musician’s survey showed that Pilates was able to increase lung capacity by 5% in only two weeks of regular practice.

  11. Lowers Cholesterol Levels: Most likely due to the more apparent amount of mental control shown by individuals that regularly practiced Pilates, the vast majority of participants exhibited lower cholesterol levels than those who did not regularly practice Pilates, according to a recent survey.

  12. Improved Central Nervous System Functionality: The lowered amounts of electrical activity in the brain afforded by Pilates has often been shown to increase the function of the central nervous system and make reaction time faster.

  13. Improved Breathing Regularity: When you control breathing while exercising, breath becomes more regular and any form of activity becomes approximately 56% more effective. Remembering to breathe while lifting and/or performing movements with the body, rather than holding your breath, is important for muscle oxidation and the prevention of strains.

  14. Improved Lung Capacity: In a study performed on 10 people recovering from lung conditions, Pilates was shown to reduce recovery time by 60% more than people that did not participate in fast paced Pilates.

  15. Promotes Weight Loss: A study conducted in 2005 found that in 15,500 average people (over 4 years), the individuals that performed Pilates lost 5 pounds by doing a 30 minute session per week. The individuals that did not perform Pilates gained an average of 14 pounds.

  16. Reduction in Symptoms Associated with Illness: A study of people with chronic diseases (AIDs, obesity, asthma, arteriosclerosis) found that doing Pilates in a weight loss regimen actually relieved the symptoms of these diseases.

Mental Benefits

  1. Reduction of Anxiety: Anxiety attacks have been shown to occur far less frequently in individuals that regularly practice Pilates. In addition, for individuals that still suffered from periodic anxiety attacks, the severity was lessened.

  2. Motivation: In a recent study, 4 out of 10 physically active people claimed that Pilates was their primary training tool for remaining motivated in activities not related to Pilates.

  3. Increased Focus and Concentration: By allowing your brain time to relax, Pilates has the ability to greatly increase focus and concentration. By practicing Pilates before undertaking a large project or physical activity, you can assure that you will more able to perform the functions of the activity more effectively.

  4. Emotional Stability: People that regularly practice Pilates have been shown to be less likely to experience anxiety, stress, minor depression and conditions like bipolar syndrome.

  5. Improvement of Memory: By relaxing the brain, Pilates has often been shown to increase memory in the participant. In fact, early tests have been promising in the use of Pilates along with prescription drugs for the reduction or delay of Alzheimer’s disease.

  6. Improved Problem Solving Abilities: Pilates is often helpful in dealing with a minor problem or resolving an issue without turning to more drastic measures that are unnecessary. This opportunity to truly think through situations may save even more stress or additional problems.

  7. Improved Intelligence Capability: People that participate in Pilates are often shown to have higher brain function in the ability to receive and process information.

  8. Reduction in Insomnia: Pilates can be very helpful in curing insomnia and helping the regular participant to fall asleep faster. Pilates may also help the practitioner to sleep better while resting.

  9. Improved Sleep Patterns: A recent study of Pilates as it relates to sleep revealed that people who regularly engage in Pilates at least one hour before going to sleep were: 56% more likely to fall asleep in 10 minutes or less; 67% more likely to stay asleep; 78% more likely to awake feeling rested and rejuvenated. The study used a testing group of 15 and a control group of 25.

  10. Promotes Mental Stability, Strength, Will-Power, and the Elimination of Bad Habits: Studies have shown that Pilates can be very effective in helping to reduce of the need to smoke, drink excess amounts of alcohol, or overeat. For this reason, individuals may find Pilates to be beneficial if they are trying to quit a bad habit.

  11. Increase in the Release of Serotonin: Pilates has often been shown to be effective in the increased release of serotonin from the brain. Increased levels of serotonin can be helpful in the reduction of the symptoms associated with mild depression, suicidal tendencies, lack of motivation, lethargy, and poor or pessimistic attitudes.

  12. Improved Stability in Relationships: You may try Pilates to become a better friend or partner with the people that are important to you. Pilates has been shown to be valuable in the promotion of healthy and sustained relationships. This is most likely due to the improvements in self-confidence, attitude, and overall outlook that individuals that practice Pilates experience.

Pilates exercise

As is evident, regularly performing a Pilates exercise routine provides countless physical and mental benefits. These benefits are not only realized by the individual that performs the exercise routines, but the lives that the individual touches as well.

Pilates provides and supports several of the physical aspects associated with good health and fitness. However, it is also important to remember that a well-balanced whole foods diet is also required for good health and fitness.

To this end, combining a Pilates exercise routine, in which you regularly perform, with a sound dietary regime is an excellent step towards living a prosperous and well-balanced lifestyle.

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