Along with doing Yoga once a week, I have also decided to start doing Pilates again on a Monday evening. I used to enjoy regularly attending Pilates but then my teacher left and the substitute teacher was not of the same standard. I have joined a new Gym and I recently decided to give Pilates another try; I really enjoyed it. As with any exercise it is important to have a good teacher, especially in Pilates where there is a focus on performing movements precisely.
Pilates was created by Joseph Pilates in the early twentieth century. It involves smooth continuous motion and works on multiple muscle groups simultaneously. The focus is mainly on strengthening and stabilizing the abdominal area.
Pilates has numerous health benefits:
- Flexibility and ligament strength
- Improving general well-being and wellness
- Physical fitness improvements
- Body toning and shaping
- Prevention from physical injury
- Flat stomach through tightening abdominal muscles
- Stress relief
One of the great things about Pilates is that it does not leave you feeling exhausted. The main aim of the exercise is to focus on the quality of the movements not the speed or quantity. Pilates strengthens the core muscles in a way that other exercises can not. It also helps you to build strength and endurance without gaining bulky muscles.
Pilates can be practised by people of all ages and from many different backgrounds. From those who are new to exercise, to top athletes, sufferers of osteoarthritis or pregnant women. Pilates during pregnancy has been claimed to be a highly valuable and beneficial form of exercise; but the use of Pilates during pregnancy should be under the guidance of a fully trained expert.
Pilates is not the most efficient form of exercise if your main aim is to lose weight. It does change your shape and help you to lose inches, especially around the waist as it strengthens your core muscles, but this does not necessarily change your weight. On Self.com, which looks at Pilates in-depth, it was estimated that a 145lb person doing Pilates for 1 hour would burn the following:
- Beginner 241 calories
- Intermediate 338 calories
- Advanced 421 calories
It is best to include Pilates in a healthy eating and exercise programme that involves some aerobic activity if you would like to lose weight also. Pilates is enjoyable and offers you the opportunity to gain great results when it is practised over a period of time. I think that it is a great addition to any workout programme, give it a try.