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Pilates Benefits: Physical And Mental Advantages Explained

7 mins read
Taisiia Dobrozorova
Written by Taisiia Dobrozorova on July 25, 2022
Pavel Balezin
Fact checked by Pavel Balezin

If you thought Pilates was developed somewhere in Hollywood, you'd be surprised. This trendy physical activity was created more than a hundred years ago by a German trainer whose last name was...Pilates! He first came up with the idea of achieving body strength just by the same exercise set. So, what secret does his methodology keep?

Table of contents

What does Pilates do for your body?

Pilates somehow echoes yoga in its philosophy and focuses on flexibility, body balance, and posture. But the essential difference exists. The exercises in Pilates are dynamic: you perform the movement on the exhale. On the inhale, you need to return to the starting position. Besides, you are free to choose various equipment like balls, ribbons, rollers, and rings if needed. Moving to the advanced level, you can even use simulators. It allows not only to diversify the training process but also make it more qualitative and effective. 

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Is pilates a mindfulness practice?

Contrasting, for example, in Pilates vs. yoga, we can find a lot of things in common. Mindfulness is the key one. Your mind must assist the body in bringing focus and initiation of energy to the center of the body. Also, it must concentrate on becoming present, controlling the body and its movements, and signaling to the body precision of movement. The mind tells your body to breathe in the rhythm called for, and the mind must be ready to enhance the flow of the exercises. 

Health benefits of doing pilates

So what tremendous pluses for our health do we get? Here they are:

Mental

  • Joseph Pilates devised his exercise method to harmonize spirit and mind and eliminate negative emotions. You will be charged with positivity for the whole day!
  • Pilates is also widely used to reduce and cope with stress. This system's workout can decrease 'stress hormones' like cortisol and increase endorphins.
  • Pilates challenges the brain to learn a new skill, keeping the mind engaged at all times. Performing any new exercise makes you think more clearly. It is explained by increasing the connections between the nerve cells and the brain.
  • Pilates is a perfect treatment for treating depression and anxiety by offering an opportunity to socialize. If we talk about the biochemical level, the training, even once a week, decreases the level of chemicals responsible for feeling happiness in the brain. It assures a distraction from negative thoughts and creates a self-care routine.
  • Along with improved cognition, one research found Pilates effectively improved motivation among students. Another research studied the type of motivation that drives those who practice Pilates and found that its practitioners are more driven by intrinsic motivation rather than external validation.
  • Pilates is an effective tool for perfecting your sexual life. Regular workouts improve pelvic floor strength and function, which correlates with increased sexual satisfaction.
  • Deep breathing, the basis of Pilates, helps to get rid of insomnia, especially in people under 40.

Physical

  • You will create elastic abs and a strong back and work out the deep muscles of the abs. The main principle of Pilates is to pull the navel to the spine. Applying this simple technique in everyday life will make your belly flatter and more attractive.
  • Pilates aligns and stabilizes the spine and reduces discomfort in your back. Research shows that Pilates also relieves various types of lower back pain.
  • Regular Pilates exercises will help to tighten the body, strengthen muscles and increase their strength. At the same time, you will create a slim-toned figure without highly pumped-up muscles.
  • Pilates is so safe that it is even used in physical therapy for rehabilitation after injuries. Also, regular training is excellent for preventing injuries to the musculoskeletal system.
  • Pilates will improve your posture. It is beneficial for the normal functioning of all internal organs.
  • Pilates improves body shape, creating a beautiful slim silhouette.
  • The current sedentary lifestyle is detrimental to our health and skeletal system. Practicing Pilates strengthens your bone density, preventing osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
  • Pilates exercises will increase your flexibility and joint mobility. You will work to safely add length and stretch to your muscles and increase the range of motion in your joints. In this aspect, Pilates is inferior only to yoga and stretching.
  • Pilates lowers blood pressure and improves the work of the cardiovascular system. Thanks to deep breathing, you will increase the volume of your lungs and blood circulation.
  • Unlike some other fitness programs, Pilates aims to develop the entire body without neglecting any muscle group. Classes contribute to getting rid of muscle imbalance, which increases the effectiveness of training and reduces the risk of developing injuries.
  • You will significantly improve your balance and sense of coordination. Any gymnast knows that to avoid falling off the log, you need to have strong core muscles, which are actively worked out during Pilates.
  • Pilates is ideal for all ages and fitness levels, from beginners to advanced. These are highly effective workouts, so they are also suitable for people with joint problems.
  • Some Pilates programs are suitable for classes during pregnancy. It will help relieve back pain, maintain a slim figure, and master breathing techniques for easy childbirth.
  • Pilates can help reduce the dysmenorrhea condition.

Disadvantages of Pilates

It is essential to note Pilates is not the most effective method of burning belly fat and losing weight. Also, this training system will not help you develop endurance and significantly improve your physical form. 

Pilates can be demanding on the quality of the exercises. So practicing on your own or with an illiterate instructor, there is a chance that the training will be ineffective. Following the correct technique for performing exercises requiring special care and attention is crucial.

Pilates is great for strengthening and toning your body's muscles and improving flexibility, but it's not a comprehensive strength program. You'll need to supplement it with other exercises. For example, go to the gym.

How long to see benefits from Pilates

You can feel the instant "before & after" effects of Pilates in the mental aspect right after the first session. Exercising plays the role of the magical elixir of endorphins. If we mean physical results, benefits from Pilates will be noticeable within three to eight weeks, depending on how often you exercise.

Can Pilates change your body shape?

"Pilates can change your body shape by burning fat and replacing it with lean, toned muscle. But it happens due to many factors such as quality sleep, decreased stress, and, most importantly, a caloric deficit, - says Unimeal fitness expert Pavel Balezin, - At first, your muscles will have both newly formed muscle and fat. It will make them appear bigger or fatter. After this period, the muscles obtain their toned and sculpted build, synonymous with Pilates."

The final word

If you are looking for calmness, want to control your thoughts, and keep your body young, feel free to choose this type of training. It is suitable for everyone regardless of fitness level, age, size, or other factors. Try incorporating Pilates into your routine, and you'll find the new limits of your body!

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Sources:

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