We all know that Pilates is great for core strength and fitness, but did you know it can also reverse the signs of ageing, and help balance hormone levels?
In Pilates the quality of movement is valued over quantity of repetitions. Proper breathing is essential, and helps you execute movements with maximum power and efficiency. Learning to breathe properly and move efficiently can help reduce stress.
2. Pilates elongates and strengthens muscles in their full ranges of movement, improving muscle elasticity and joint mobility without sacrificing stability and strength. A body with balanced strength and flexibility is less likely to be injured and muscles will become long and lean.
3. Pilates exercise can be of great benefit to people with a variety of age-related ailments. Arthritis sufferers benefit because the gentle mid-range movements decrease the chance of joints compressing while maintaining the range of motion around them.
4. Studies have shown that undertaking Pilates exercise regularly will aid digestive efficiency and reduce irritation within the gut. It is believed that the ‘visceral massage effect’ of select Pilates exercises assists in improving elimination, thereby lowering aggravational toxins and matter in the digestive system.
5. Pilates is a holistic form of exercise that is perfect for balancing hormone levels, with particular exercises aimed at stimulating hormonal activity or mellowing over active production of certain hormones. Recent trials have shown that Pilates exercise has a direct effect on the human endocrine system and thereby offers a safe, effective means of hormonal balancing.
6. Pilates revolves around strengthening the abdominals and creating a powerful torso, so it stands to reason that dedicated Pilates clients have found the way to abdominal betterment. The key to Pilates abs is the “drawing in” of the abdominals, aiming to engage the deepest of the four abdominal muscle layers, as well as the more external layers. Working the abdominals also has a positive effect on the function of the internal organs and helps create maximum power and support for all physical movement.
7. Pilates is one of the most effective exercise programs for pregnant women, balancing hormones, stabilizing joints, increasing balance and proprioception, working on postural muscles, safe abdominal strengthening, and of course breathing. Not to mention strengthening the legs and pelvis to assist with the actual birth and recovery! A qualified Pilates teacher is a godsend for pre and post natal exercise.
8. The Pilates method aims to improve whole body health. Exercises are designed to not only work the body physically but also to stimulate internal organs, aid elimination of toxins, increase capacity of the lymphatic and respiratory systems, balance hormonal systems, strengthen the cardiovascular system and build strength and endurance in all tissues of the body.
9. A signature exercise of Joseph Pilates method is The Hundred. This exercise strengthens the whole body, creates circulation of breath and blood, and stimulates energy production. Click on this link to try the exercise www.pilatesint.com/thehundred
10. After world peace, if there is one universally sought after ideal it would have to be successfully fighting the effects of ageing. Ageing could simply be defined as decreasing physiological circulation. This decrease in circulation advances all the conditions of ageing, including how our appearance is affected and how all our systems of the body function. Pilates exercise increases circulation and activates underused body tissue, without putting impact into joints or structures. A holistic, kind exercise method that stimulates anti-ageing processes from the inside out.
Sally Anderson is the founder and director of Pilates International Pty Ltd, and at the forefront of Australian Pilates, setting the benchmark in formal instructor training and industry practices.