Pilates is a system of exercise that relaxes both mind and body, and strengthens and tones the body. It uses smooth, flowing movements that challenge the body, increasing strength and flexibility in your muscles and joints. All you need is a mat and when you want to challenge the body further involve props such as a Fitball, therabands and weights. There are enormous rewards to be gained from doing Pilates regularly. In addition to an increased sense of well-being, practising Pilates can offer you the following:
The abdominal region of the body is known as the core or ‘powerhouse’ and Pilates, like many other disciplines, believes is the source of bodily strength and the place to correct postural dysfunction. The core needs to be strengthened starting with the deep spinal muscles which make up the foundations of the core. The physical movement generated from the abdomen is carried to the limbs to give power needed to make movement. This means that you strengthen from the inside out with the outer muscles shaping up nicely too. When the core is strengthened, the effects can be very beneficial:
Pilates is not a new craze started by celebrities eager for a flatter stomach, it is a discipline over fifty years old which continues to grow in strength and favour as an efficient way to keep the body structurally healthy, or as a tool to rehabilitate the body after injury or surgery. Many doctors, physiotherapists and health care professionals encourage their patients to take up Pilates as a way to increase strength, reduce stress and ease away postural problems including backache, tight muscles and tension.
Pilates has multiple levels so everyone can benefit, it is not a one size fits all; your wellbeing and needs are a priority.
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