Do you wonder what Pilates can do for you? In short, it can help you get fit and have a better quality of life. But don’t take my word for it. Consider these words, spoken in 1965 by the man who developed the exercise method:
“I must be right. Never an aspirin. Never injured a day in my life. The whole country, the whole world, should be doing my exercises. They’d be happier.” — Joseph Hubertus Pilates, age 86
People at different fitness levels who have begun doing Pilates exercises say they’ve seen improvements in range of motion, flexibility, posture and abdominal strength. My clients all say they stand taller and have become more aware of their bodies.
So, you ask what Pilates can do for you? Read on, and I will tell you more.
Pilates Exercises are Adaptable to Many Fitness Levels
Whether you are 50+ or just starting to exercise, an elite athlete or somewhere in between, the foundations of Pilates movement apply to you. Building from core strength, focusing on proper alignment, and a body-mind approach make Pilates accessible to all. Pilates exercises can be tailored to individual needs.
Joseph Pilates was adamant that Pilates, was about “the complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit.” This is one thing that makes Pilates exercise different: we practice each movement with total attention. When we exercise with awareness, the body and mind unite to bring forth the most benefit possible from each exercise. The Pilates principles — centering, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow — are key concepts we use to integrate body and mind.
Pilates trains the body as an integrated whole. The workouts promote strength and balanced muscle development as well as flexibility and increased range of motion for the joints. When you think about what Pilates can do for you, think beyond the physical body. The breath and mind are integrated in this practice as well.
Creates Strength without Bulk
Long, lean muscles are the name of the game here. In Pilates, we are not looking to build muscles for show. We are building toned muscles that work perfectly within the context of the body as a whole and the needs of a person as they move through life.
In Pilates, we work safely to increase flexibility and range of motion. A body that can stretch and bend to meet the flow of life is a very realistic goal.
Develops Core Strength
Pilates is all about building core strength. The core muscles of the body are the deep muscles of the back, abdomen, and pelvic floor. These are the muscles we rely on to support a strong back, good posture, and patterns of efficient movement. When the core is strong, the body’s frame is supported. The neck and shoulders can relax, and the rest of the muscles and joints are freed to do their jobs —not more. A nice side benefit is that core training promotes the flat abs we all want.
With good alignment and a strong core, good posture follows naturally. With good posture, one can move freely. As you age, you’ll be especially grateful that good posture is on the list of what Pilates can do for you.
It might seem like a paradox, but the more you exercise, the more energy you have. The more energy you have, the more you feel like exercising. Pilates gets the breath and circulation moving and floods the body with the good feelings you get from exercising. After a workout, my clients always feel rejuvenated and refreshed.
How long does it take to realize what Pilates can do for you?
If you’re like many people, you’ll suspect you’re on the road to physical and mental transformation after just one or two sessions. After 30 sessions, you’ll have a whole new body! But again, let’s ask Joseph Pilates himself to answer this question:
“In 10 sessions, you will feel the difference. In 20, you will see the difference. And in 30, you’ll be on your way to having a whole new body.” ~ Joseph Pilates
Ready to find out what Pilates can do for you? Grab a mat (you don’t need fancy equipment), and let’s start your journey!