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Everyone can agree that regular exercise is necessary for the overall health and fitness of humans. No matter what type of program or workout is used, the most important part is that you move and move regularly.
Featured image: Work It Out courtesy Mateus Lunardi Dutra – Creative Commons
Sedentary lifestyles can lead to a plethora of diseases and ailments, and overweight and obesity. Plus, what some may not have considered is the fact that a sedentary lifestyle can also lead to much more difficult senior years.
As the body ages it begins to lose muscle, and bone strength degrades. This can result in decreased function and mobility in retirement years where one should be vital and equipped to enjoy retirement.
Recent research has also shown that regular exercise is one of the factors of Alzheimer’s prevention and lowering the risk of dementia often seen in the aging population.
For those who are still young and vital, exercise has many rewards for the body, mind and soul. Stay strong and energized by following a regular exercise regimen, and Pilates is one of the best choices!
What Is Pilates
Pilates is a form of exercise that was developed by Joseph Pilates, and today it is one of the most popular workout regimens in the United States.
It seems like everyone is either doing Pilates, or interested in starting a Pilates exercise program. Indeed, one of the best things about the Pilates method is that it works so well for a wide range of people.
Athletes and dancers love it, as do seniors, women rebounding from pregnancy, and people who are at various stages of physical rehabilitation.
Pilates was created with a specific focus on breath, flexibility, strength and increased mind/body awareness. While these exercises don’t show drastic improvements immediately, if you do it on a regular basis, you will definitely notice great changes in both your body and lifestyle.
Philosophies Behind Pilates
Pilates Is An Adaptable Form Of Exercise
The ability to modify the particular exercises is the cornerstone of Pilates and that adaptation is the key to its success across various populations because they are made to fit all fitness levels and age groups.
Centering, Control, Flow, Breath, Precision, and Concentration
These are the 6 principles of Pilates and are integral to a quality workout. What sets Pilates apart from other workouts is that instead of emphasizing repetition of moves, it focuses on the quality of each move instead with an emphasis on accuracy and precision, which, in turn yields significant results in the shortest amount of time.
Whole Body Training
By training the body as a whole, rather than isolating certain muscles, you will improve your movement, enhancing your life greatly. Overall, Pilates can present a number of health benefits for anyone at any age.
The Benefits of Pilates
1. Improve Balance, Coordination And Agility
Recent studies have demonstrated that Pilates offers the “key to fending off falls”, which is one of the leading causes of injury among elderly people. After a few weeks of Pilates exercises, many women demonstrated greater balance control, as well as, an increase in their range of motion and flexibility in the legs.
They experienced a heightened confidence when walking, and were able to evenly distribute their weight. Pilates strengthens the hip and leg joints, as well as the body’s core, which can greatly promote stability. This increase in stability leads to an improvement in balance, coordination and agility.
2. Correct Imbalances Between Strength And Flexibility
An imbalance between your strength and flexibility can greatly diminish your performance. As you exercise, you will find that maintaining the proper form is extremely important in Pilates.
Your muscles are vital, they provide the immense support your joints and bones require to move. Flexibility and strength training combine to work together, combatting degenerative diseases and a variety of other health problems.
Pilates provide extensive support and strengthening to your back muscles and the abdominal muscles. These are necessary in the spine’s supporting role. The spine will be stronger, and healthier, which greatly improves your arm and leg strength.
It can also greatly improve your posture, as your spine won’t be so easily burdened. One of the primary principles in Pilates is that the spine should hold its natural curve, and this is important in preventing lower back and neck strain.
4. Correct Poor Posture Habits
Poor posture can mean future injuries. When you slouch while walking, or sitting you can pull a muscle, and lessen the spine’s ability to absorb shock that can lead to neck strain.
Many problems stem from poor postural habits. When you perform Pilates regularly, you can begin to come “in tune” with your body, which, is what they mean by mental and physical awareness. You will be able to correct your posture and other bad habits naturally and easily.
5. Increase Mind/Body Awareness
Improve your movement’s efficiency, as well as, your own awareness of your body, through Pilates. Pilates forces you to pay close attention to your own breathing, the way you position your muscles and limbs, and encourages strong concentration on form.
All of this combined forces you to become more in tuned with your body, which, transfers over to serve you in everyday life.
Overall, Pilates offers a variety of benefits to people of all ages. In becoming more in touch your body you can achieve a better overall quality of life.
And, the elderly or people of any age will notice a massive improvement in range of motion and injury prevention.
Those who suffer from back pain or arthritis will get pain relief and improved joint health.
In working the core, Pilates, will improve the overall stability of the body, including posture and spine health.
Try Pilates Today!