We all know that Pilates is one of the most sought after exercises that provide excellent results. Though the benefits are not instant, it will soon promote overall quality enhancement over time. The advantages do not only limit to physiological aspects but support emotional and mental health as well. That explains why most clinical experts such as psychologists, therapists, and health professionals are considering it. Let’s check out more reasons why a lot of these individuals approve Pilates.
What’s In It?
In terms of activities concerning Pilates, two amazing things are given emphasis. One of them is in the subconscious aspect. Because when there’s a registration of new muscle tone, there’s the awakening of the proprioceptive system. From there, it supports significant body awareness. Meaning, the body responds more naturally to a particular stimulus where it feels a little bit more alive. Therefore, when the body feels positively significant, there’s the tendency to accomplish more task with greater agility and responsiveness. The second best thing about Pilates is its capability to contribute widely to a person’s overall development. These include better mental and emotional stability.
“This [Pilates] work clearly demonstrates the acute and chronic benefits of Pilates training on both physical and psychological measures. It also reveals that even only once a week Pilates training is enough to trigger detectable benefits in young sedentary women. While this frequency is below the required levels of exercise for health, it may overcome the ‘lack of time’ excuse for not exercising and subsequently its tangible benefits may positively influence one’s engagement in more physical activity,” says Team Nóra Tolnai, Zsófia Szabó, MA Ferenc Köteles, PsyD & Szabo, Attila, PhD.
The Benefits Of Pilates
Pilates increases flexibility because most of its exercise involves movement in only one plane of motion. Usually, it is the forward and backward stretching of the upper or lower part of the body. An example of these particular movements or exercise is crunches and lunges. Pilates requires motion in several planes because it attempts to move spine from flexion to extension. It also includes internal and external rotations. It also involves side bending where it allows an increased range of bodily motion. With that specific enhancement of flexibility, Pilates becomes helpful in decreasing injury risk.
Pilates is a simple exercise, but it makes a great cross-training exercise. Yes, extensive workouts like running, walking, and cycling, are okay. However, too much of these can eventually cause injury and harm. Pilates becomes a significant substitute for these types of exercises. That’s because trying to incorporate a few sessions into the mix of activities can entirely create a difference. Not only it does prevent the body from possible harm of over-exercising, but it also increases the body’s awareness, capability, and endurance.
Due to its challenging positions, Pilates becomes a great source of optimal postural alignment. That is because some of its exercises work by challenging the body’s capability to control alignment from a static position. Pilates supports the more efficient use of muscles that are only necessary to perform the specific task. As it supports better bodily alignment, there’s a promotion of better posture. Since most muscles become imbalance due to lack of usage, Pilates reverses the effects of the disproportion by creating more developed muscle symmetry.
Amy Cuddy, PhD, explains in her well-known TED Talk, how posture and body language boosts confidence, “[It is] a free no-tech life hack: change your posture for 2 minutes.” And it “could significantly change the way your life unfolds.”
The great thing about Pilates is its capability to force someone to work and focus only at a specific part of the body. There is not much pressure in doing the exercise because it trains one particular area at a time. It does not force other weaker parts to perform a task. Instead, it redevelops the lost strength and supports core enhancement. With that, a high chance of cardiovascular improvement becomes present as it works within the target aerobic zones of the body. As the heart benefits from it, the whole system becomes active and well-developed.
According to Konul Memmedova, PhD, “Pilates increases a cognitive function – pilates is different than many other forms of exercise because it requires the mind to pay attention to what you are doing. Research shows that when required to think about how you are moving, your brain cells grow at a faster rate and your nervous system creates better connections throughout your body.” She adds “Pilates reduce stress, anxiety, fatigue and improve mood, motivation and achievement.”
Since Pilates is a form of exercise, it is capable of providing better brain development too. It can potentially aid anxiety and depression due to its well-balanced features that support better brain function. It promotes deep concentration. It naturally increases a person’s ability to meditate. Pilates is also a good source of stress-relief. As it clears the mind from unwanted thoughts, it starts to boost emotional intelligence. With that effect, it also begins to address emotional exhaustion. As it regulates brain development, it aids emotional imbalance.
There is no doubt that Pilates is one of the best solutions to keep the body healthy and the mind refreshed. That explains why a lot of people recommend it. So if you are thinking about doing some exercises, try Pilates and witness its benefits yourself. You will be amazed at how things can change physically, emotionally, and mentally.
Good luck and have fun!