The Benefit of Pilates

Pilates can benefit your overall health and sense of well-being in many ways. I have been doing Pilates for three years and I have seen for myself how challenging, yet effective it is.

Recently, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a chronic muscle and soft tissue pain syndrome. One of my osteopathic doctors told me that if I hadn't been doing Pilates (and yoga), I would not be able to get on and off the examining table. As a matter of fact, when patients come to see him because of pain, he often recommends Pilates as a method of treatment.

While it certainly helps with physical problems, you will find many other positive rewards when you start integrating Pilates into your exercise program.

#1 Benefit of Pilates ? Strong Core

Pilates focuses on strengthening your deep abdominal muscles, your back and your butt. This results in greater pelvic stability and less likelihood that you will sustain an injury in your back. You will also enjoy having a flat, toned and sleek tummy.

#2 Benefit of Pilates - Improved Posture

Pilates works to lengthen the spinal compression that you might be developing, especially as you grow older or spend long hours hunched over in front of a computer. Many of us spend a great part of the day with our shoulders slumped forward. Pilates encourages you to lengthen the back of your neck and to slide your shoulder blades back and down. This encourages better postural alignment and allows you to stand and sit straighter and taller.

#3 Benefit of Pilates ? Increased Strength and Flexibility

When you are doing Pilates, you are simultaneously strengthening and stretching your muscles. This gives your joints greater range of motion and also helps prevent the likelihood that you will get injured.

#4 Benefit of Pilates ? Longer and Leaner Muscles

Many strength-training exercises focus on working only one body part at a time, which leads to a compressed, bulky muscle. When you do Pilates exercises, you are working your entire body and you elongate the muscle as you move it with precision and control. The result ? your body has a longer, leaner look.

#5 Benefit of Pilates ? Improved Mind Body Connection

Pilates is not a mindless activity. There is a very strong focus on deep breathing. You do certain moves as you inhale, while others as you exhale. This fosters a greater awareness about how you can integrate deep breathing and movement into positive body control.

#6 Benefit of Pilates ? It is Safe for Everyone

Pilates is a gentle, low impact workout. In every class, you are given a modification to address your own unique level of strength, flexibility, and fitness. With the proper instruction, it is safe for seniors, for those who are physically challenged, and also those who are recovering from injuries.

If you've ever wondered about Pilates, why not give it a try? You can see for yourself how Pilates can make a positive difference in your mind, health ? and, of course ? your body.

Della Menechella is a yoga and fitness enthusiast who has been involved in fitness for over thirty years. Her website is filled with practical information about how you can make yoga and fitness a positive part of your life. Visit the site and get your free meditation e-book.

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