The Pilates method is practiced all over the world thanks to its proven benefits for physical and mental health. Why doctors recommend it.
It is much more of a physical activity. In fact, he was born closer to medicine than sports. The method created by the German Joseph Pilates, conquered the world for its multiple benefits and its integral approach to the body as a whole. I discovered the benefits of Pilates and what are the ways to practice it.
When we speak of Pilates, we refer to a complete physical and mental training, which consists in ‘the complete coordination of the body, mind and spirit’. According to its creator, the search is to use the mind to control the body, in order to reach a complete balance between the two.
It is a discipline that combines techniques of gymnastics, ballet and yoga with resources based on mind control, deep breathing and relaxation. In addition, it is inspired by medical criteria linked to traumatology and kinesiology, since Joseph Pilates created it precisely to solve physical problems that affected him from childhood.
Benefits of doing Pilates
This famous discipline can be practiced both on the floor and in specific machines. We tell you how it is practiced, what elements are used in the classes and what kind of routines you can try at home.
Why practicing Pilates does well
- Improves posture and muscle flexibility: with special emphasis on breathing and alignment of the spine. The exercises are done slowly and gently and in a very controlled manner. That is why it is so recommended as rehabilitation therapy, to prevent back pain or for people with pre-existing injuries.
- Allows training without risk: being an activity without impact, allows the body to work and tone the muscles without risk of injury. All muscle groups are worked on, which is great for increasing physical endurance.
- Oxygenates the body: the muscular effort required by the exercises accelerates the metabolism, which favors the elimination of toxins.
It helps to lose weight gradually: by activating the metabolism, improves energy expenditure and calorie consumption. Anyway, if you want to lose weight fast , the ideal is to combine it with some type of aerobic exercise, such as walking, dancing, running, swimming or riding a bicycle .
- Shapes the figure: by facilitating weight loss and toning the muscles gradually, helps to shape and stylize the figure. It makes the muscle take a definite and firm shape, without growing in volume.
Also Check: 7 Benefits of Having a Pet at Home
- It favors a better support of the bone structure: by toning the abdomen, lumbar, back, legs and buttocks, improves posture and strengthens the spine, improves balance. By dividing the weight more adequately, the bones are less demanded and more sustained by the muscular system.
- Increase flexibility: stretch and elongation exercises are present not only at the beginning and end of the routine but are part of several pilates exercises. In a few sessions we will notice that it significantly improves the flexibility of our body.
- Helps fight stress: the regular practice of this discipline also brings many benefits to our nervous system, because, having to strain the mental control over movement, strength, balance and breathing, our brain suspends for a while worries and anxieties and stress levels fall considerably.
- It favors the mental control: as it demands a deep awareness of each one of the parts of our body and of the movements that we do, it improves the control of the mind and the intorepcion, that is the registry of the own body.
- Improves self-esteem: all the mentioned benefits, adding a better circulation of energy between the body and the mind, contribute to a greater personal well-being. When we start another relationship with the body, more loving and careful, we feel more comfortable with ourselves and increase our self-esteem.
What elements do we need to do Pilates
As we anticipate, classes can be done with machines called “reformers” or on the floor, with or without elements.
Reformer is the best known Pilates machine. Created by Joseph himself, it is also called a stretcher or bed. It has nothing to do with the machines of the gymnasiums to work the bodybuilding. It consists of many parts: car, head, shoulder pads, springs, foot bar, straps, boxes and sliding stretcher, and each of these parts is designed to exercise every part of our body with combined resistances.
While most people use them in the gym, there are also domestic versions that fold and can be stored in confined spaces. There are different brands in the market, imported and manufactured domestically.
The benefits of using these machines are many:
- You can work each and every part of the body, locating each muscle, even those we know and work little.
- It is ideal to correct our position and work the abdominals without realizing it.
- It is an excellent resource for rehabilitation of some pathologies and physical ailments.
Pilates without machines or on the floor
There are other elements that are used to develop the classes:
- Elastic bands: they allow to increase the intensity of the exercises and the necessary stability work in the trunk to control the tension of the band.
- Rollers: it is a complement to increase your strength, flexibility and sense of balance. In addition, it gives a gentle massage on the back providing a super pleasant feeling.
- Aros: the hoops, also designed by Joseph Pilates, are a perfect complement to achieve control of your abdomen and greater toning of all muscles.
- Mattresses: are used to practice several exercises and achieve greater relaxation and awareness of our entire body.
The detractors of the method emphasize two issues: to be very quiet routines some consider it boring and, at the same time, not being an aerobic exercise, do not burn so many calories. But, as the creator said, “in 10 sessions you will feel different, in 20 sessions you will see yourself differently, in 30 sessions you will have a totally new body”.