Pilates is a relatively new exercise form and has proven to be very beneficial to a variety of groups of people. Those who regularly attend Pilates sessions swear by the benefits that they enjoy on a daily basis, and while Pilates provides benefits to everyone, there are certain benefits that are more prominent in different groups.
Pilates Benefits for Pregnant Women
Often, pregnant women want to remain in shape during pregnancy, but are afraid of doing exercise that may jeopardise the pregnancy. Pilates is very safe to do during this time and in addition, it provides particular benefits to the pregnancy. Because Pilates movements concentrate on strengthening the core muscles that support the skeletal frame and the pelvis, the muscles that help to carry the weight of the growing baby are stronger and provide better support. The weight of the baby often pulls the stomach forward, and with strong back muscles to support this weight better, the back will not be pulled out of alignment, posture will remain better, and back ache is reduced in the short and long term. The pelvic floor muscles also become stronger and this may have added benefits during delivery. In addition, a strong pelvic floor helps all the relevant muscles to return to their pre-pregnancy state a lot quicker. During Pilates, one becomes more aware of the body, and this enables pregnant women to correct their postures as soon as they falter, by pulling back the shoulders and aligning the spine properly. Breathing techniques can also help the new mom to relax and cope better during delivery.
Pilates Benefits for the Elderly
Pilates movements hold a host of benefits for the elderly – even for those who are frail! The movements are low impact and don’t place any direct hits on the joints, which makes it safer than a lot of other forms of exercise. It also increases flexibility and range of movement, which helps to reduce injuries that are typical for the elderly. It helps with balance and strength, and this results in a body that is more resistant to injury if a fall or accident happens. The breathing techniques used help to deal with stress and anxiety, and the increase in oxygen while exercising stimulates blood circulation and pumps blood to all the vital organs where it is needed. Cardiac strength is also increased.
Pilates for Men
While men tend to focus on weights to increase muscle mass, Pilates provides a really good way of toning muscle to give a more “ripped” appearance, especially in the core area. Not all men want to be musclebound monsters, and Pilates elongates and tones muscles, while also building core strength, which makes it a great addition to a weights programme for men who don’t want to bulk up too much. It is particular good for athletes who need strength but not bulk, and helps to keep weight down without compromising on muscle mass.
If you would like to find out more about the different benefits of Pilates, visit our studio at BASI Pilates today!