It’s been more than a hundred years since pilates was founded by Joseph Pilates in his own studio somewhere in New York City. Today, this kind of exercise continues to win the hearts of many fitness enthusiasts all over the world. Besides, the prevalence of obesity in many countries has led to the increased number of Pilates studios as well. Add in government initiatives that aim to promote healthy lifestyle among its constituents which is why pilates studios and instructors have also increased their market reach. Pilates continues to gain popularity as more people continue to benefit from it physically and mentally. Some of these benefits are the following:
It helps one to achieve “body neutrality”.
Many people are having a hard time trying to love their own bodies and accept their imperfections. Through regular practice of pilates, it will become easier for one to dismiss the concept of having the body as a source of hate or love. Instead, as the concept of “body neutrality” sets in, individuals will learn to appreciate having a body that’s healthy and one that is endowed with a lot of potential for achieving whatever one wants. This is the reason why some pilates practitioners do not just remain students for life. Some of them have aspired to become pilates instructors as they wanted to “level up” in their practice. Thus, they enrol in certification programs that help them earn the right to teach pilates to other people. They have learned to rise above their own imperfections and developed a belief that they can achieve more for as long as their bodies are healthy.
It develops one’s core strength.
When the core muscles of the body, which include the deep muscles located in the pelvic floor, abdomen and the back are strong, the entire body can definitely rely on it for support. This would also mean that the shoulders, neck and joints can relax or perform certain movements without any problems at all. With a solid core strength, the other parts of the body can also become capable of performing efficient movement patterns while having a more supple back and good posture.
It improves brain function.
A research conducted on women who regularly practice pilates showed that after ten weeks, their brains were found to have increased alpha peak power. This translates to improved neural network activity and better memory performance. Achieving an increased alpha peak power also means the brain has better cognitive functioning.
It reduces stress levels.
Since pilates strengthens and lengthens the body in a gentle way, it will not lead to a fight or flight mode that can only make the person’s mind and body become stressed. On the contrary, the more you practice pilates, the better you become at managing your stress levels. Now that there are less stress hormones circulating all throughout the body, one can feel more relaxed and happy.
The truth is that the benefits of Pilates can have far-reaching effects on a person’s mind and body. Plenty of anecdotal evidence online supports this claim. If you’re looking to try it for the first time, do not forget to consult your health care provider first. This is important especially if you have pre existing medical conditions. By consulting your physician first, you can ensure that practicing Pilates can be beneficial to your overall health and well-being.