Pilates is a great way to tone and strengthen many of your major and minor muscle groups. It’s often used by people who want to improve their overall flexibility, balance, and coordination. Pilates is also used by people recovering from injuries and those with chronic back pain or other physical limitations.
In addition to increasing strength and flexibility, Pilates helps you achieve better posture, reduce fatigue and stress, sleep more soundly, breathe more fully, recover more quickly from disease or injury, move with greater ease and sustain better balance.
In the next segment, we will discuss how Pilates improves mental health.
BENEFITS OF PILATES ON OUR MIND
Most people who practice Pilates at least once in their life will probably agree that it positively affects the mind and body. Pilates isn’t just about flat abs and well-sculpted bodies; it is an excellent holistic workout that can do wonders for your mind, body, and soul.
Reasons why Pilates is great for the mind:
1. GREAT EXERCISE FOR YOUR BRAIN
The process of learning Pilates is all about re-educating your muscles and getting them back into working order. Your instructor will give you imagery of how to use the smallest muscles in your body, and voila! You’ll feel things in muscles that you didn’t even know existed. If you practice Pilates regularly, “mindful movement” becomes a very real thing in your life!
2. HELPS PREVENT STRESS AND DEPRESSION
Let’s be honest, any and all kinds of exercise boosts serotonin production in the brain. This is your “feel-good” hormone that, well, makes you feel amazing! But why is Pilates different? Well, mainly because there is a very large focus on breathing. Every second of your Pilates class you will be told whether to inhale or exhale, and this DEEP oxygenation of your brain and body takes the feeling of being ALIVE and AWAKE to the next level! It’s hard for stress and depression to exist in conditions where there is so much oxygen!
3. STRENGTHENS THE MIND
You’ve probably heard the saying, “the body achieves what the mind believes”? Well, looking at Pilates exercises online, most people think they will never be able to move their body like that. But once you start your Pilates journey, you get addicted to the feeling of strength and well-being very quickly! Your body will be able to achieve amazing things because your mind has set a goal that it can do it – and of course your instructor will motivate you every step of the way!
4. HELPS TO REDUCE ANXIETY
Pilates can be a great way to help you cope with and even reduce anxiety symptoms. This is because Pilates enables you to develop a heightened awareness of your body, which can help you better understand your anxiety triggers.
While Pilates can be practiced on the Mat, and The PAD’s Instagram page (link here) has lots of Mat Pilates workouts in the “Series” section which you can easily do at home, we do always recommend starting with expert eyes watching you, so you don’t do any movements incorrectly!