Do you want to correct your posture and improve your flexibility? These are just some of the benefits of Pilates, as it is a physical activity that helps the body on multiple levels. If you still don’t know all that this exercise can do for your physical and mental health, in this article, we will answer all your questions.
Pilates refers to a discipline developed by Joseph Hubertus Pilates, whose aim was to improve his physical problems (asthma, rickets and rheumatic fevers). Thanks to its success, this practice has become popular all over the world as it brings great physical and psychological benefits, with little risk of sports injuries.
Although the most common thing to say is that the main advantage of this discipline is the improvement of body posture and back pain. The truth is that the fact of combining the three pillars of this practice: movement, breathing and relaxation, also provides other benefits that favour mental health. In short, the benefits of Pilates are as follows:
- It improves and corrects the body posture, that is to say, it achieves a correct postural hygiene as it favours the position of the abdomen, chest and shoulders.
- Increased muscle flexibility through stretching and improved coordination, body awareness and proprioception.
- Relaxation of the body through breathing control. Learning to breathe correctly will not only help us to relax but also to achieve better concentration.
- It reduces stress and anxiety by connecting body, mind and breath. And, at the same time, it improves mood.
- Helps people to fall asleep.
- It improves the mobility of joints and muscles by making them lose stiffness and gain range of motion.
- It contributes to weight loss as it is a discipline that activates the metabolism. The results are more visible when combined with another sport, such as walking, dancing, running, swimming, etc.
- It serves to tone muscles without the risk of injury.
- It prevents diseases such as osteopenia and osteoporosis by making bones stronger and healthier.
Contrary to what you may think, losing fat does not always require cardiovascular exercise, but other practices such as Pilates are also very effective in weight loss and muscle toning. The reason? Increasing muscle mass increases your basal metabolism, i.e. the calories your body consumes at rest, and therefore promotes weight loss.
In addition, Pilates also contributes to waist reduction and other physical changes such as toning legs and arms as it is necessary to mobilise almost every muscle group in the body.
I’m sure that after discovering all the benefits of Pilates, you will be wondering when you start to notice these effects: improved posture, greater flexibility, less stress, better mood, less back pain, gradual weight loss, etcetera. Well, the results, as with any other exercise, will depend on the time and intensity you dedicate to it, and the initial physical condition of each person.
The reality is that with two Pilates classes a week, changes should be noticeable around the first five weeks. But, as we said in the previous paragraph, the time will vary depending on the personal circumstances of each person: the number of classes, whether it is combined with another sport, the physical condition of the person, age, and so on.
Also, if you are wondering how many times a week you should do pilates, the general recommendation is to practice this activity two or three times a week for about 30 minutes or 1 hour. If you want to know whether it is recommended to do Pilates every day, you should know that if you have the time and you are healthy, there is no contraindication. However, it is advisable to consult an instructor and to do it under supervision.
Did you know that in addition to physical benefits, it also has great mental benefits? Undoubtedly, this discipline, so fashionable in recent years, brings great advantages both physically and mentally, as it improves mood, reduces stress and anxiety, facilitates relaxation … If you have not yet tried any session and you have back problems, muscle ailments, postural … you will surely notice a great relief.
Also, remember that the benefits of Pilates will help you to stay more active, healthy, toned… And much more! Are you ready to give it a try?