Why do Pilates in 2015?

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Happy new year, it’s 2015 and what’s one of the first things everyone starts thinking about after the excess of Christmas – their fitness and losing weight so you are no doubt saying why should I think about doing Pilates. It’s not going to help me lose the weight I’ve put on over the festive season which is true.

 

So what can Pilates do for you?

When Joseph Pilates designed Pilates, he did it so that it would be a complete body conditioning routine, building on flexibility and suppleness as well as toning your whole body.

Relaxation – Pilates helps with relaxation through a considerable focus on breathing whilst you move. After the stresses of Christmas, taking time out to focus on yourself can’t be a bad thing. Pilates breathing encourages you to breathe in through the nose and out through a pursed lip. We want the lungs and rib cage to expand taking the air in and then feel the muscles around the middle of your body, your corset, contract and force the air back out. Just by breathing more deeply you will feel rejuvenated, helping take the stress out of the neck and shoulders.

Posture – How many times do you hear people say, I’ve got terrible posture! Pilates was designed to improve posture through its attention to detail on trying to help you move more freely. A body that is poorly aligned say your head juts out in front or you lower back arches, will cause some muscles to work harder than they should whilst others weaken. If you continue to ignore poor posture, you will find your movement will start to reduce and you will feel stiffer and less able to do things. If the body is out of balance, this will put a lot more tension on your joints.

Mindfulness – Pilates can make a difference to your overall mindfulness. When you are more mindful, you are more attentive to what is going on right now, and not thinking so much about the future. We can all have a tendency not to live in the now and then we miss opportunities that are right in front of us.

Tone – Pilates will tone your whole body, and was not designed to build bulk. It will give you a slender, streamlined look and assists in developing your muscular endurance, particularly for your stabilising muscles which help support your joints. Concentration and precision are key factors when doing Pilates so that you move correctly and efficiently.

Flexibility – by reducing tension in the body and starting to get your muscles to work more evenly and your joints to move more freely, you will see your flexibility improve. It might appear that your hamstrings are tight but actually it is a combination of tensions elsewhere that have made your hamstrings work too hard!

Balance & coordination – Pilates is not all about laying on the floor you know! We start our classes nearly every session with standing pilates to challenge balance and co-ordination. You’ll be surprised how difficult it can be to stand on one leg sometimes! As we get older, balance and co-ordination can go quite quickly so the more you keep exercising to challenge the right and left side of you, the more mobile you will remain.

These are just a few great reasons to do Pilates, don’t  you think? So why not give it a go?

I love HIIT training but I recognise that doing the same type of training all the time does not give me a well-rounded fitness programme. Balance and moderation is required. Pilates can offer something for everyone, no matter what fitness level but make sure you go to a qualified instructor who preferably deals with smaller groups where you can get the appropriate attention to see you are doing the moves correctly.

If you would like any more information on Pilates, do get in touch but please try Pilates this New Year!