Why Pilates should be part of your fitness routine

There are loads of reasons you should include Pilates in your weekly routine, but let’s begin with this short list.

  1. Pilates is a full-body exercise. It focuses on the core while training the entire body as an integrated system. The workouts include ones that improve strength and balanced muscle development, flexibility and increased range of motion.
  1. Pilates sessions are tailored to individual needs. Pilates is for everyone, including elite athletes, the injured, seniors, pregnant women and everyone in-between. There are literally hundreds of exercises and modifications for each client.
  1. It lengthens the spine and improves posture. Poor posture creates a string of structural changes throughout the body that can cause pain and imbalance in the shoulders, neck and head as well as a tilt of the pelvis or a shift of the hips adding pressure to muscles and joints. This, in turn, may cause migraines, neck, lower back, hip, knee and foot pain. For example, if the head is tilted forward 20 degrees it is forced to bear twice the weight than if it were vertical. Pilates targets the deep postural muscles creating a strong, aligned core from which to move.
  1. Pilates heals and prevents back injuries. Dr. Vijay Vad, sports medicine specialist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, states that in a recent study of patients with back pain, the participants that included Pilates in their exercise routine saw ”dramatic improvement” compared with those taking only pain medication. Doctors, chiropractors and physical therapists recommend Pilates exercise for most back pain. “Lasting improvements come with regular exercises that stretch and lengthen the spine, loosen up tight hip muscles and strengthen the abdominals, “ says Dr. Daniel Mazanec, Medical Director of the Cleveland Spine Institute.
  1. Muscular balance. For example, the golfer will repeatedly bend over a ball and twist in one direction. This overuse of the same muscles creates imbalance in the shoulders, neck, hips and feet, but the most vulnerable is the lumbar spine (low back).  Pilates works to restore the balance and re align the body.
  1. Core strength. If the trunk of a tree is not strong, what use are its limbs? We can train our arms and legs to be strong with weight training, but in Pilates you are never working just one muscle. Why not get more results in less time? Train your center while stretching and strengthening other muscles. This is called functional fitness.
  1. Weight loss, really! If you practice Pilates regularly, you will change your body. Pilates creates long, lean, strong muscles. Just because it is low-impact does not mean it is easy. Once you have the routine down, expect to work up a light sweat. The formula for weight loss remains the same: burn more calories than you consume. Because Pilates is a full-body exercise, it will help you do just that!
  1. Breath efficiently. Pilates will increase your lung capacity and your ribs will move more freely.
  1. Mind and body connection. Joseph Pilates was insistent that Pilates was about “the complete coordination of body, mind and spirit”. Pilates practice gives complete attention to each movement by instructing the brain to release tension, center oneself, control movement and breath with precision and flow.
  1. Improves balance and circulation. Strengthening the core and working one limb at a time will improve balance. The classic “Pilates Hundred” exercise is meant to get the blood circulating and act like a “rain shower” inside your body.

Try Pilates today! As Joseph Pilates once said, “In 10 sessions you will feel the difference, in 2 you will see the difference, and in 30 you will have a whole new body.”

Exercise Classes to Gym Buddies: 5 Weekend Tips to Stay on Track

Sick of spoiling all that hard work with a Friday night on the town and a lazy Saturday in bed? From socialising at the gym to drinking plenty of water, here are five tips to help you have a healthy weekend.

We’ve all been there; working super hard during the week, planning and prepping all your meals, attending exercise classes regularly and making serious progress. Then Friday night comes along and, before you know it, you’re drinking alcohol and eating greasy kebabs, followed by a hungover day eating pizza and watching Netflix in bed.

So, how do you stay motivated at the weekend? Here’s five tips to help keep you on track.

1. Meet friends at the gym
tips for exercise classes

 

Instead of catching up with friends at the pub, why not book on an exercise class and do a fun workout together?

Research shows that having a gym buddy helps you enjoy your workouts and keeps you accountable. What’s more, you can avoid all the empty calories from the alcohol you would consume at the pub while having a laugh with your friend and getting fit at the same time – winner!

2. Plan your meals

In the same way that booking on an exercise class means you’re more committed to your workout, having your meals planned means that you’re less likely to reach for the takeaway menus on a Saturday night.

3. Get back into it

There’s nothing wrong with having a few drinks IF you still get up the next day and work out. Instead of staying in bed, get up and get moving! This means setting your alarm and going for a run, attending that exercise class or doing an at-home workout. Whichever activity you decide on, make sure you do it!

4. Stay hydrated

Drink lots of water. It can be easy to see the weekend as a ‘treat’ time to drink sugar-laden, carbonated drinks, alcohol and high fructose juices. However, the best thing to nourish your body and aid your weight-loss is to drink lots of H20. It might sound boring, but if you’re serious about reaching your goals, it’s worth it.

5. Get eight hours sleep

Rest is essential for muscle rehabilitation, so use the weekend as a time to recuperate. However, avoid sleeping in for too long, otherwise you will be left feeling groggy and lethargic. Eight hours is the optimum amount of time that most adults need to recharge their exhausted batteries.

Why not find an exercise class near you and sign up this weekend?

The Top 9 Pilates Health Benefits

Pilates is a form of exercise developed by German-born Joseph Herbertus Pilates (b. 1883) in the early 20th century whilst working as a self-defence instructor for detectives at Scotland Yard, UK. Joseph moved to the US in 1926 and began his own fitness studio teaching dancers in New York.

The popularity of Pilates’ spread quickly through the US and, during the 1960’s and 1970’s, the Pilates exercise style took hold. Pilates today is practiced worldwide as a testament to its success.
Here are the top 9 Pilates health benefits:

1. Low Impact Exercise

Pilates uses apparatus and mats during exercise classes, which are used in a low impact exercise form. Concentrating on body control, Pilates enables you to have a less labour intensive workout whilst still delivering positive health benefits.

2. Develops Whole Body Strength

The Pilates exercise system utilises your whole body into the exercises helping you develop strength over your entire body over time. Used in conjunction with other activities like swimming, cycling, and running, and with a healthy diet, your body will soon be reaping the rewards.

3. Improves Posture

As your body strength improves, the exercises help you become aware of your body and together with Pilates you will be able to improve your posture. You will feel more confident and relaxed as a result of good posture, which also helps you maintain good back health.

4. Improves Balance

With an increase in body strength and posture, your balance will improve over time especially if you are elderly or suffer from lower back pain. An improved balance will aid you in exercising and taking part in other sports activities.

5. Improves Joint Mobility

The whole body exercise routines of Pilates will give your joints better mobility and flexibility reducing the impact of joint related problems in later life. Increased mobility will benefit you if you, for example, take part in swimming, dancing, martial arts, or cycling.

6. Can Reduce Lower Back Pain

Due to an improvement in strength, posture, balance and joint mobility, combined these health benefits will help toward lowering non-specific lower back pain. So if you suffer from this type of pain or are looking to avoid back problems during other activities, Pilates will be good for you.

7. Can Help You Lose Weight

As you exercise in conjunction with a healthy diet, Pilates will help you to lose weight, body fat, and help you produce a leaner body. Together with other activities, weight loss programs should be a thing of the past.

8. Boosts Muscle Tone

Due to the slow nature of the exercises and strength building, you will see over time your muscles tone up and the reduced body fat will give you a sculpted look you can be proud of. Pilates will help you grow in confidence and give you a self-esteem boost that continues into the future.

9. Helps Reduce Risk of Injury

With all the aforementioned benefits attributed to Pilates as a supportive exercise style in conjunction with other activities, you will help your body remain fit and healthy – reducing the risk of injury. With added strength and mobility, you can help avoid injuries that are caused by activity and stress

Get Started Today…
So if Pilates has wetted your appetite and you feel this form of exercise would be of benefit to you, getting started is simple and easy. Just click below to find pilates classes nearest to you