Why Pilates is the Best Exercise Out There
26 September 2018
Ever looked at the timetable of classes at the gym and wondered what on earth it all means? It feels like there are about a million different forms of exercise to choose from—entire gyms dedicated to Crossfit, countless running groups, team sports you have never even heard of, classes with names you only vaguely recognise. With so much on offer to choose from it can feel pretty overwhelming and difficult to figure out which one is right for you, will really make a difference to your health, and will actually be enjoyable. Pilates is the class that everybody has heard of, but few understand what it actually is and what the benefits are.
Let us enlighten you; Pilates is a gentle, low-impact, full-body workout which focuses on control, breathing, and concentration to work the muscles. Your regular gym routine of poorly-formed reps with too-heavy weights only adds stress and damage to your body, whereas Pilates reduces physical and mental stress without compromising on results. It is also one of the most accessible classes out there; you will easily find sessions at a range of levels, from beginner right up to advanced, so don’t let nervousness about your novice status put you off! There are so many additional health benefits to Pilates that you will kick yourself for chickening out—who doesn’t want to improve their balance, tone their muscles, feel relaxed, and lose weight all at once?!
Pilates is especially great for those who work desk-based jobs or who spend a long time each day in a sedentary position—if you are one of these people you are very likely to have poor posture, which Pilates is designed to correct. It achieves this through moves which elongate the body and enhance lower back, shoulder, and abdominal muscles, whilst teaching good alignment through gentle stretches. Focusing on strengthening your core and the muscles around your spine in this way leaves the body capable of naturally maintaining a healthy, upright posture, which in turn reduces neck and back pain. Supporting your spine with good posture is key to allowing your body to function at its optimum level.
There’s a good reason that Pilates is a mainstay in gym class timetables. It is one of the kindest workouts for your joints and posture, reduces stress, and releases endorphins (happy hormones!), all whilst giving your body a robust and effective workout. The additional benefits of healthy posture and improved general wellbeing makes Pilates a 2-in-1 dream of an exercise, so next time you’re squinting quizzically at the list of classes trying to decide what to book yourself in for, give Pilates a whirl.