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5 Reasons We Love Pilates

10th May 2017

I’m not big on gyms. Not even a little bit. I don’t even pretend to like the gym when comparing exercise regimes with people who post pictures of their fitness progress to their social media accounts. My idea of exercise is a brisk walk along the beach (if the sun is shining the right way, of course).  So when a friend asked me to join her in a pilates class, you can imagine I was a little reluctant. After much coaxing though, I rolled out of bed early, donned the active wear and haven’t looked back since.

Not only is Pilates now my go-to exercise, keeping me more toned and healthy, it helps to alleviate stress, gives me time to switch off and helps me start off the day feeling as though I’m ready to tackle anything that comes my way.

So, what is Pilates?
Developed by Joseph Pilates in the 20th century, Pilates is a system of exercises used to improve and enhance mental awareness, strength, flexibility, and posture. Similar to yoga, Pilates engages most of your body, most of the time with a particular focus on the body’s core strength, emphasizing controlled techniques over unnecessary repetitive movements. Pilates exercises require concentration that allows you to focus on mind and body. Pilates, while similar to yoga, engages the body’s core muscles more than yoga does but don’t get stuck on comparing Pilates to yoga. I love yoga too but Pilates has its own set of benefits, and is certainly worth giving trying if you haven’t already. Here’s the five best things about attending Pilates classes:

Increased Flexibility
Many traditional workouts feature weights that tend to shorten and bulk muscles. Pilates, on the other hand, elongates and strengthens muscles. This improves the mobility of the joints and the elasticity of the muscles. The more flexible you are, the least likely you are to be injured.

Injury Prevention 
Pilates works the entire body. More traditional workouts may engage the same muscle groups, causing muscles that are not being engaged to become weaker. Those weaker muscles may cause injury due to muscular imbalance. Pilates evenly conditions the entire body, making it less likely to have muscle groups that are weaker than another. In fact, many elite sports teams use Pilates as a way to train their athletes to be their best.

Mind-Body Connection 
In Pilates, there is a huge emphasis on breathing, proper spinal and pelvic alignment, flow of movements, and concentration. The goal is to become connected and in-tune with your body so that you can control body movements more efficiently and effectively. The connection between breathing properly and the flow of movements not only helps you execute quality movements, but also reduces stress. Stress relief is certainly something that we could all use in our busy lives.

Develops a Strong Core 
Your core is made up of deep abdominal muscles that are close to the body’s spine. Most Pilates’ movements thoroughly engage the core and helps develop a strong core by integrating movements that involve the glutes, pelvis and shoulder girdle.

 Easy on the Joints 
Because Pilates’ movements are slow and controlled, they put minimal strain on your joints. The slow and controlled movements takes the pressure off of your back and knees. Trainers and physiotherapists often use Pilates in rehabilitation regimes for clients.

Not to mention, it is often followed by guided meditation or self-massage (amazing for increasing blood flow,  releasing tightness,  increasing your range of motion, reducing  muscle soreness, and encouraging better immunity). What more could you want in an exercise class? If you’ve never given Pilates a try, there’s no better time to start than now. There is always room for growth and challenge in Pilates, no matter how skilled you get. So what are you waiting for? Grab your active wear and exercise mat and get started today. 

We run Yoga and Pilates classes 6 days a week for guests and locals. Check out the timetable here.

"Pilates is the complete coordination of mind, body and spirit" - Joseph Pilates