Pilates is a form of exercise which has taken the fitness world by storm in the past few years, popular with models, celebrities.
Ben Dillion, an expert fitness writer, described it as a “lifestyle shift with profound effects on physical and mental health”.
According to the expert, it’s possible to sculpt a brand new body shape using Pilates, a workout which concentrates on strengthening the body and developing core strength.
One of the main physical benefits of Pilates is “increased muscle tone” through controlled movements, resulting in a “more defined body shape” over time.
What’s more, Pilates is a great foundation for those who want to venture into more “strenuous” forms of physical activity, as it will “improve muscle endurance”.
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At its “core”, Pilates is about building strength, targeting deep muscles in the abdomen and back.
Getting stronger has incredible benefits according to the expert, namely “better posture, reduced back pain, and a strong foundation for daily activities and other sports”.
Another benefit is improved flexibility, which “dramatically increases joint mobility and overall flexibility”.
While Pilates is a great go-to for all age groups, it is particularly useful for older people in improving balance and coordination.
This is because with increased balance comes a reduced risk of falls and injuries, Ben explained.
And the benefits of Pilates are not just physical, with the exercise also helping enhance a “mind-body connection”.
Ben explained: “Its focus on breathing, concentration, and movement brings about a heightened sense of body awareness and mental clarity.
“This mindful nature helps to reduce stress, improve mental wellbeing, and can even contribute to better sleep.”
The expert’s top tips for incorporating Pilates into your everyday life (including how to build a better body at your work desk)
- Morning Routine Start the day with a short Pilates routine to activate your muscles and energise your body for the day ahead. Even 15 minutes of stretching and core exercises can make a difference.
- Active Sitting: Use an exercise ball as opposed to a chair when sitting at your desk. This engages your core muscles and can help improve posture and balance. It’s also an easy way to sneak in some fitness during your workday.
- Mindful Breaks: Practice Pilates breathing techniques during breaks to de-stress and recenter.
- Utilise Waiting Time: Do standing Pilates exercises while waiting for tasks like boiling water, during TV ad breaks, or even when brushing your teeth. Leg lifts, calf raises, or balance practices can all be easily incorporated.
- Online Classes: Join online Pilates classes or follow instructional videos for guided routines. This is a great way to ensure you’re performing exercises correctly.
- Walk the Pilates Way: Incorporate Pilates principles into your walking routine. Focus on your posture, engage your core, and move with control and precision.
- End-of-day Wind Down: Consider a gentle Pilates routine before bed, focusing on deep stretches and slow, calming movements. This can help to relieve tension from the day and promote better sleep.
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