Pilates is not simply a method of physical fitness that is popular among the Hollywood elite or the rich and famous. In fact, the prevalence of Pilates among celebrities is simply a reflection of its growing popularity throughout the world.
Millions of individuals are discovering the vast benefits that regularly performing a Pilates routine can bring to their quality of life and overall levels of health and fitness.
The practice of Pilates has grown for good reason, because it really works and it offers a way to get in shape and improve health using a method that is new and fresh.
In many ways, Pilates is similar to Yoga in that several of the types of movements, the series of poses, and the “centering and calming of the mind” aspects overlap.
Typical Pilates workout routines include exercises that target virtually all primary muscle groups, especially the core muscle groups. In addition, Pilates also targets several aspects similar to yoga in that many exercises performed are targeted towards centering and calming the mind.
Benefits of Pilates
There are a great deal of benefits associated with Pilates. These benefits may seem similar to practices such as Yoga and meditation because the benefits are largely the same. In general, most people prefer to think of Pilates as a stand alone form of aerobic exercise although the poses and approaches are very similar to Yoga or movement based meditation. Just a few of the benefits of Pilates include:
Lowering Blood Pressure: Studies have shown that regular Pilates can actually help to lower blood pressure to normal levels if it is too high. In terms of blood pressure, a study done 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).
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.
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.
Increasing of 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.
Feeling of 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.
An 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.
Attend Classes or Fly Solo
The majority of people choose to initially participate in Pilates classes. This is a great way to learn because it provides a social aspect to the practice and expert assistance and training.
Yet, there are a good number of people who choose to practice Pilates without the help of a class or personal trainer. Some people use videos and other forms of media while others are able to pick of the practice by simply becoming educated about its methods.
There are many benefits of deciding to work at a Pilates Center. These centers are specially designed to give you the proper training to perform the movements required by Pilates.
If you are unsure of your technique or form and could benefit from some help, a Pilates center could be your best option. If you are uncomfortable around other people or do not feel ready to work with other people while doing your poses, you may consider working out at home.
What You Will Find in This Section
The following pages and articles will outline all of the various ways to go about incorporating Pilates into your lifestyle. The information provided is geared to give you a comprehensive view of the practice of Pilates.
The practice of Pilates places a high level of emphasis on both the physical poses and the mental processes that are inherent to each pose. The actual practice of Pilates revolves around six major principles that will be explained in detail throughout this section. These principles, if followed, are designed to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the practice.
The practice of Pilates, as it was intended, is designed to bring about both physical and mental stability. It is our attempt to place equal emphasis on both of these elements so that you can achieve the maximum number of overall health benefits. A number of other things will be covered in this category including a detailed description of the many benefits that practicing Pilates can bring to ones life.
A description of the various resources and equipment, such as mats and resistance bands, will also be discussed. These tools are a necessity in many cases and should not be overlooked. By truly understanding the art of Pilates you will be able to best tailor a fitness program that is best for you.
This being said, Pilates is an excellent exercise type and, when performed regularly, will provide a vast array of both physical and mental benefits for virtually anyone. In fact, it is our belief that Pilates, or some style and type of Yoga should be included in all comprehensive and well designed fitness routines.