If you want to increase your mental health, your physical fitness and strength, Pilates is a great discipline to try. It is a relatively new exercise discipline and was initially used to treat and rehabilitate wounded WW1 soldiers, but has since evolved into a highly acclaimed exercise form that is used by dancers, athletes, sportspeople and the everyday person. Because it brings so many benefits, it is one of the best forms of exercise one can get, and at BASI Pilates studios, we strive to bring out the best in our Pilates students and disciples.
Advantages of doing regular Pilates include:
· Strong core: Pilates focuses a lot on the strengthening of the core muscles. This group of muscles support the spine and skeletal structure, and people with a strong core tend to have good postures and their backs are stronger, resulting in fewer injuries. The core is the powerhouse of your body, and with a strong core, you can cope with everyday movements better.
· Better flexibility: Regular Pilates helps to increase the range of movement and elongates muscles. This helps to prevent injury and makes the body move more efficiently.
· Improved injury and/or medical conditions: Because Pilates can be used as a form of rehabilitation of the body; it can be done to help with injuries. It is, however, important that a professional at a Pilates studio assesses the injury and develops a specific regime for those who suffer from injuries. Pilates also helps with various medical conditions – it is proven to help alleviate arthritis, cardiac disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic back pain and a whole host of other conditions.
· Increased mental health: Any form of exercise helps our bodies to produce “feel-good” hormones, which makes us feel better about life. Pilates also incorporates a lot of breathing techniques which helps to bring more oxygen to the muscles and to the brain. These breathing techniques are also great for alleviating stress, and are a great tool for everyday stress management and relaxation.
· Better body awareness: While performing Pilates movements, certain muscles and muscle groups are targeted, and part of the exercise is to concentrate and focus entirely on the group of muscles that is being worked. This brings a closer relationship with the body and better awareness of how the body moves, which results in small adjustments in movement or posture being made on an everyday basis.
· Anyone can do it: From children, to the elderly, to pregnant women to athletes – Pilates is good for everyone! It has benefits for all age groups and any condition, and is a particularly great form of exercise for pregnant women, because it strengthens the pelvic floor, back and core – all the areas that are challenged by the weight of a growing baby. Frail or elderly also like doing Pilates because it is low impact and places very little (or no) stress on joints. The programme can also be adjusted to suit individual needs and conditions, and benefits everyone.
If you want to know more about the practice of Pilates, join us for a class at BASI Pilates studio in Pretoria. Give us a call today to book an initial appointment and a consultation, and we will soon have you on your way to mental and physical health!