what is pilates ?
Joseph Pilates created a system called Controlology in the early 20th century opening a studio and teaching this method in 1923. This method was later renamed Pilates.
Pilates was perhaps the first influential figure to combine Western and Eastern ideas about health and physical fitness. He researched and practised every kind of exercise he could. This ranged from classical Roman and Greek exercise regimes to body-building and gymnastics. He set this alongside practising the Eastern disciplines of yoga, tai chi, martial arts and Zen meditation. Additionally, he studied anatomy and animal movements. Dedicated to his task, he sampled every kind of exercise that he could and carefully recorded the results.
What health benefits can be gained from pilates?
- Good posture - Pilates will teach you to gain and maintain good posture. The exercises require that your body is always in alignment. This is especially beneficial if you suffer from lower back pain.
- Muscle Tone - The exercises involve the use of muscles that you may not use on a daily basis. After the initial soreness, you'll find that your muscles will be much more toned. This is especially good for older people and those who are normally quite sedate in their daily life as muscle tone is usually lost with age and inactivity.
- Flat abdominal muscles - Because Pilates focuses on strengthening your core which includes your abdominal muscles, you'll find that one of the benefits of Pilates is that it will result in a flatter stomach.
- Flexibility - As we age we tend to lose the flexibility we had when we were young. Pilates will restore your flexibility, gently at first of course. After a while though, you'll be amazed at how much more flexible your body has become. This is especially important for avoiding injuries from falls.
- Improves your balance - Through the mind-body connection which is taught in Pilates you will become much more aware of how your body moves and performs. Therefore Pilates not only improves your physical balance through correct posture but will also restore your mind-body balance.
- Reduces stress - When doing the exercises, you'll be totally engrossed and won't be able to think about all those responsibilities that weigh you down on a day to day basis. You'll be more focused on your breathing and on the moves that you are making with your body. This is an excellent way to relieve stress.
- Gives you a general sense of well-being - Because Pilates focuses on providing balance between your mind and body it gives you an overall sense of well-being.