Have you heard about Pilates health benefits?

Pilates is a body conditioning routine that improves flexibility, muscle strength, balance and body awareness. In the 1920s physical trainer Joseph Pilates developed a system of exercises which were intended to strengthen the human mind and body. He introduced this method into America as a way to help injured athletes and dancers safely return to exercise and maintain their fitness.

Pilates is partly inspired by yoga, but they are different. Yoga is made up of a series of static postures, while Pilates is based on putting yourself into unstable postures and challenging your body by moving your limbs.

  • Some of the health benefits of Pilates include:
  • Improved flexibility.
  • Increased muscle strength and tone of abdominal muscles, lower back, hips and buttocks.
  • Enhanced stabilisation of the spine and posture.
  • Rehabilitation or prevention of injuries related to muscle imbalances.
  • Relaxation of shoulders, neck and upper back.
  • Improved concentration, stress management and relaxation.

You can perform exercises on the floor using gravity and your own body weight to condition the deeper, supporting muscles or your body to improve posture, balance and coordination. Or with the help of various pieces of equipment that works against spring-loaded resistance. Some forms of Pilates include mat work, weights (such as dumbbells) and other types of small  fitness equipment that offer resistance to the muscles (gym balls, abs roller or professional fitness balance ball).

This technique can suit everybody from elite athletes to people with limited mobility, pregnant women and people with low fitness levels. Always consult your doctor before embarking on any fitness program, especially if you have pre-existing medical condition or have not exercised in a long time.

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