“Why should I do Pilates?”

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This is a question that I am often asked.

Even though the popularity of Pilates is on the rise, many people still do not understand what benefits they will receive from practicing it.

I have been practicing Pilates for over 10 years and it is my favorite way to stay in shape. Lots of people know that Pilates is good for your core, but here are six hidden benefits that you may not realize you will get from practicing Pilates.

1 – Pilates provides strength plus flexibility in one workout.

Pilates exercises incorporate strength exercises while also stretching your muscles. Some exercises have a strength and a stretch component, and the sequence of exercises also provides stretches throughout the work. Having this strength/stretch combo gives you the best of both worlds and it creates longer, leaner looking muscles. That’s why dancers love Pilates!

2 – Pilates can be like interval training.

Interval training is a popular form of exercise because it pushes you to work hard briefly followed by a recovery period. This has proven to be an effective form of exercise because people will in the end work harder and accomplish more in their workout when they know they only have to push themselves for a brief period.

The sequence of Pilates exercises are very much like this. There are exercises that are more intense followed by stretches or exercises of less intensity. It creates a great workout that allows you to work hard and recover.

3 – Pilates improves your posture.

When I teach Pilates, I am constantly reminding my clients of correct alignment so that we improve their posture. Form is everything in Pilates. Slight corrections in an exercise can make the exercise much more difficult.

If you’ve ever heard the saying, “If it’s easy, it’s not Pilates!” then you know what I mean.

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4 – Pilates improve mind/body awareness.

Much like yoga, Pilates is a mind/body exercise.

To get the most out of Pilates, you really need to connect to your body and be in the moment.

The great part is that when you practice this, you will find yourself connecting to your body when you are not doing Pilates! You will find yourself driving your car, or shopping at the grocery store, or doing the laundry, and you will check your shoulders to see if they are up by your ears. You will engage your abdominals while you vacuum.

Everything you learn from Pilates carries over into your other activities. It makes you more aware and you will have better posture and alignment even when you aren’t doing Pilates.

5 – Pilates is good for every body! Literally!

When I was doing my Pilates training, I quickly learned that it was something I could teach anybody – from my mother to a hard core athlete. I have clients who are older and less conditioned, and I also have clients who are in great shape and want to be challenged every time they see me.

Pilates can meet a wide range of needs. It is safe yet effective, and there are so many different exercises and modifications that you will never get bored with your workout.

6 – Pilates is something you do for you!

Since Pilates is a mind/body exercise, it really allows you “me time.” Pilates workouts are not the time to mentally make your grocery list or plan your afternoon.

Pilates is time for you to be in the moment. Focus on your body getting stronger and leaner. The breath helps you to relax and relieve stress. You will truly feel revived and invigorated when you are done!

There are so many benefits from practicing Pilates. These six hidden benefits are things that many people may not realize they would gain from participating in a Pilates program.

Practicing Pilates 2-3 times per week is optimal, but even if you can only do it once a week, you will see these six benefits and many more.

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