If you are someone who loves to get up and move, then odds are that you are trying to find new and exciting exercise routines that make you want to do just that. Not only is exercise good for your physical health, but many studies show that exercising properly also benefits your emotional and mental health, too.
You can look at strength training routines, cardio routines, or a combination of the two, depending on what you’re looking for in your life. One of the best options to try out and see if its right for you is pilates. This is a workout that has gained a lot of popularity over the past few years in everyone from your neighbour to the hottest celebrities. Read on to see if this beneficial exercise routine is for you.
What Is Pilates?
Pilates is a unique combination of yoga, ballet and gymnastics. If that sounds like a clash of ideas, you’re right, but they all work together with surprising clarity. This was an exercise formed by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s as a way to give an exercise routine to men and women that would teach them grace, give them muscle tone, and still allow them to feel as though they are getting a workout.
There are over 500 exercises in this system, and they all work to give the person fitness without the high stress cardio workout that many are unable to do after injuries or when they get to be older with joint issues. Pilates helps strengthen a person slowly, but every muscle group in the bodies gets an oppourtunity to be stretched in good time. Pilates is often used by many sports players, especially after an injury where they need to protect their bodies from more harm but still keep in shape and stretch.
Using methods from yoga (breathing and the coming together of mind and body), gymnastics (flexibility and strengthening) and ballet (grace and balance), Pilates is a great exercise to look into if you want to change things up and look at a workout that is all about the strength and fitness instead of cardio health. Pilates is often combined with a cardio workout routine for this reason.
There are all sorts of health benefits to Pilates, making it popular amongst people in all demographics, all around the developed world. Those who make Pilates part of their lifestyle long term often find that they are healthier in many ways because Pilates is intended to have long term effects instead of short term ones. Think about it for a minute.
If you go for a run every day for six months, you’ll notice that you have toned legs and abs and good endurance, but that’s about it. Pilates gives every muscle definition and a toned feel so that your entire body gets a workout without the high impact (often damaging to those with other health conditions) of going for a run, or working out at the gym.
Another benefit to Pilates is that you will get better blood circulation. This is because you are working all of the muscles in the body, and this will increase blood flow, leading to better circulation and a healthier heart and body. For those with circulation issues, this is a huge plus.
Pilates also gives you good heart health as well as lung health. The heart gets a workout during Pilates that will strengthen it without overdoing it with a high impact workout routine, leading to faster and better results long term. The lungs get a workout due the breathing cycles (coming from Yoga) that you do as a part of Pilates.
There really are no end of the benefits that practicing Pilates can give you, these are just a few of the many, many benefits to this easy to do exercise routine.
Types Of Pilates
Now that you are convinced Pilates is the most amazing exercise routine in the world (you aren’t alone), here are all of the different kinds of Pilates that you can do. It’s always a good idea to consult a doctor or physiotherapist before you start Pilates, especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions that may make it hard for you to do some of the exercises.
One of the two many kinds is mat-based Pilates. This is done on a mat for the most part and the use of gravity helps doing these exercises. The person doing these exercises tends to be on the floor for the entire exercise.
The second type of Pilates is equipment-based, and it uses resistance equipment to help make the workout more beneficial. This includes weight belts and dumbbells, etc. Depending on your comfort, fitness level and interest, you will find that one or these two will often appeal to you more than the other.
Who does Pilates?
As mentioned, Pilates is popular for everyone, including celebrities. One of the people who loves these beneficial exercise routine is Jennifer Aniston. She often speaks out about her love of Pilates when interviewed, as it is one of the reasons that she stays in good shape both physically and mentally in the often chaotic world of show business. She shares that it is good for the health and the mind. Another Pilates lover is Ian Mckellen, which surprises many of his fans, but he swears by the routines that he does and is dedicated to doing them regularly.
While Pilates may not seem like much of a workout to an unsuspecting every day person sitting on the couch, one session with a professional trainer, and you’ll see why it is so loved by everyone out there. It makes you work hard, and most people find that they are so sore after the first session that all they want to do is lie on the couch (or a hot tub). But, as the expression goes: no pain, no gain, so the next day, they get up and try it again with excellent, toned results. If it sounds intriguing to you, give it another try!