Why Is Pilates Brilliant?
Pilates is one of the fastest growing exercise systems as the benefits to all sexes and ages are endless. The basis of Pilates is core conditioning, focusing on strengthening these main body muscles in the stomach and back without placing unnecessary stress on other parts of the body.
Pilates was created in the 1920s for the purpose of rehabilitation by physical trainer Joseph Pilates, to strengthen their bodies and heal their aches and pains. During World War 1, Joe rigged springs to hospital beds, enabling bedridden patients to exercise against resistance, an innovation that led to his next equipment designs, and a concept still used today. (read more about the origins of Pilates here).
“It is the mind itself which builds the body"
- Joseph Pilates
Last year I saw a Physiotherapist weekly with a hip problem which is quite common for women my age. Tendinopathy, it is tendonitis in the hip. The Physiotherapist recommended for me to attend Pilates classes. So in February I joined Pilates and have decreased Physio visits. No wonder many Physio clinics coordinate Pilates classes.
Benefits of Pilates are more for mind-body fitness, which emphasises breathing, balance, body alignment and flexibility. A great transition from hard-core high-impact workouts. It improves your physical fitness, and with the focus being on core strength, Pilates certainly improves your posture. My body isn’t in pain like it was when I was lifting weights.
Read how Aerobics Oz Style Celebrity Wendi Carroll has changed her exercise regime from high-impact to strength training, such as Pilates here.
Our gorgeous Pilates instructor and owner of Rise Pilates, the beautiful, energetic and active Laura Saggers agreed to an interview about the benefits of Pilates.
1. What drove you to start doing Pilates?
I have always been interested in health and fitness, but I think looking back for the wrong reasons. My mindset as a younger me was always about being skinny rather than being healthy and fit. From my first class of Pilates, I instantly noticed the change in my core which in turn changed my perspective into being healthier, stronger and fitter rather than skinnier.
2. What kind of benefits can your clients expect to see from your classes immediately?
The immediate benefits you see straight away from doing Pilates are the stabilising muscles that you don’t use from day to day life which you engage. So instantly from your first class, you will walk out feeling like “Oh my gosh I have got these muscles that I never knew existed.”
3. What are some of the long-term benefits of Pilates? – Regarding improved mental health, lifestyle and injury prevention
The long-term effects of doing Pilates are functional movement, and having your joints nice and free moving in your neutral spine, so that in turn you’re not loading the joints, locking up, getting injuries. Being active as well so as you get older squatting up and down in the classes lead to you being able to sit up and down as you age.
4. Do you think that to see results a healthy diet and lifestyle is important?
From continuously doing Pilates I have found that it transfers back into your way of life. You’re more likely to be aware of the food you’re eating, your sleep patterns and your general health and wellbeing.
The physical transformation also transfers back into your overall self-being.
5. Do you think people engaging in regular exercise are more likely to transition into a healthy lifestyle?
You will see many benefits when you join Pilates and enjoy a healthy way of life. Once you start practising regularly and doing the hard work, the likeliness of walking out and eating a chocolate bar is very slim. There is less drive to go out and party, weekends are more for “I’m staying fit and healthy and achieving life goals”, rather than throwing all the hard work away.
6. Who does Pilates suit? Would you recommend it to people just starting out a health and fitness journey?
Pilates is literally for everybody. Our participants are men and women, young and old. A lot of the men have injuries from football and Pilates is perfect for them. As Caz said above, many people are recommended by physios to add Pilates to their exercise régime.
7. Why would you recommend Pilates over more vigorous types of exercise for someone starting out?
Pilates is the place to start anyone’s journey because of the concentration of core strength. You are continuously building on your health and fitness journey as you progress. The dramatic changes that you see instantly are in your muscle strength and body posture, oh and did we mention how toned your tummy becomes?
For someone starting out with exercise, Pilates is a good base as you are setting everything up in neutral posture. When you’re in the neutral stance, you have got your bones in the right structure, and in Pilates, you strengthen and lengthen the muscles evenly to hold your bones in this position.
Rather than loading the joints, in Pilates, you are strengthening them to stay active. Which means when you are moving, you are not locking and loading the joint, and in turn injuring yourself. So long term, injuries become less.
8. What kind of benefits can people that are already active expect to see from Pilates?
When individuals who are already active begin Pilates, they notice the benefits of their other sports. For example; If you’re a cyclist, you will start to obtain special glute engagement, and have less load on the hip flexors when you make the cycling motion. It will also help to prevent injuries in the other exercises that you’re doing. For footballers, Pilates aids to keeping your bones in the right place.
9. Do you think there is a link between Pilates and mental health and overall health and well-being?
There is a connection between Pilates and mental health and wellbeing. The core strength and the overall strength that you build up from doing Pilates transfers back into your life. And when you’re active and moving you’re releasing endorphins, therefore making you happy, which leads to a greater mental health too. I do think that starting Pilates is an excellent point for any person whether it is a fitness or a mental transition into a better lifestyle.
Thank you for reading and sharing.
Thank you to Laura for her fabulous Pilates classes and for her interview.