Pilates is a form of exercise that can be performed by many people throughout all stages of life. The benefits gained through practising Pilates can improve your general health as well as improve functional strength. Practising Pilates can help to increase daily function and sporting performance, as well as improve spinal mobility and reduce common aches and pains. Through this blog, we will discuss the many benefits of Pilates as well as why Pilates could be the right choice for you too!
1. Having a strong core is essential when partaking in daily activities.
Due to the ongoing demands of daily life, we rely on having a strong core to support and protect our spine as we move and partake in our regular activities and recreational hobbies. The muscles of our deep core act to hold our spine in a neutral, low-stress position, reducing the chance of experiencing pain or injury. If we have reduced strength or activation in our deep core, we can put increased stress on important structures in our spine, which could lead to experiencing pain or discomfort. People in all stages of life want to be pain-free and able to partake in their normal daily activities, whether that be chasing your grandchildren in the park, going on your annual skiing holiday or playing an intense game of football. By practising Pilates and improving your core strength, you are providing your spine with the appropriate support it needs to function and carry you through all the demands of your busy life.
2. Pilates is fun and exciting!
As well the health benefits, people partake in Pilates for the sheer fun of it! People of all ages find enjoyment in the varied workouts, unique equipment and energising atmosphere. No two workouts are the same at Physiolates, with each instructor bringing their own unique twist to each exercise and programme, keeping you on your toes. Depending on your ability and goals, your Physiolates instructor can incorporate resistance bands, magic circles, Pilates balls, hand weights as well as a variety of other techniques to develop high levels of strength and core control. Pilates is also a very social! Physiolates participants enjoy small class sizes, allowing patients to get to know one another and recognise familiar faces. Our participants spend time chatting prior to the class, as well as chatting together following the cooldown. Your qualified Pilates instructor is able to identify any weaknesses in your body that may need addressing and can develop a unique and fun Pilates programme to facilitate you to correct these differences. Pilates can improve many aspects of performance including balance, coordination and movement control and ensure you enjoy yourself in the process!
3. Reduce common aches and pains associated with aging
It is common to experience low-level aches and pains throughout the course of your life. We use our bodies every day to get us from one place to another as well as participate in our favourite activities. However, as we age, we rely even more heavily on having appropriate muscle strength to support us through these activities. The muscles of our deep core, as well as those surrounding our major joints (including the knees, hips and shoulders) rely on having strong muscles to protect and stabilise them. Should we lose strength in these muscles, we can begin to experience pain and discomfort. By practising Pilates and incorporating both strengthening and mobility exercises, we are able to ensure our body is strong enough to carry us through our daily activities, even as we age. Pilates can help with many common issues associated with ageing, such as decreased spinal mobility, weakness in our larger, force producing muscle groups as well as improving our balance. This makes Pilates a one-stop shop for those who would like to stay strong and supple even as we age.
4. Having good posture is important at every age!
We are all aware of the importance of good posture. However, not many of us are aware of how to develop and maintain good posture throughout our lifetime. Good posture simply refers to the natural and optimal positioning of your spine in a standing or seated position. In Pilates, we would refer to this position as being your neutral spine. To maintain a neutral position and therefore good posture, we require appropriate strength in the deep muscles of our core, namely the Transverses Abdominus, multifidus, pelvic floor as well as your diaphragm. Together, these muscles maintain your neutral position, ensuring you hold good posture. As mentioned previously, Pilates focuses on these deep core muscles, allowing you to adopt and maintain better posture with less effort in all your daily activities. In the younger population, improved posture reduces stress on important joints and muscles when spending prolonged time sitting or playing sport as well as building good postural habits for the future. The benefits of improved posture in the ageing population are evident through increased mobility and function, maintaining independence and confidence with daily activities.
5. Pilates can be as easy or challenging as you like!
The beauty of Pilates is that whether you are new to Pilates (hooray!) or a seasoned professional, each exercise can be tailored to your unique ability and functional goals. The beginner and introductory exercises focus on understanding and maintaining core control while performing basic movement patterns. We focus on ensuring you are activating your core and using appropriate breathing techniques. As people progress through the stages of Pilates and become more experienced, your Pilates instructor will be able to challenge you in many interesting and fun ways that really get you working! Exercises can be targeted towards a functional sport or activity to improve performance or simply to allow you to complete your daily activates with less pain or restriction for movement.
Here at Physiolates, we are health care professionals who understand how the body moves and carries load. We are able to apply to principles of Pilates to each individual client in our care to ensure we meet their goals, whatever they may be.
Pilates is beneficial to people of all ages and demographics. We would love to see you in one of our clinics soon so we can help you work towards achieving your health and exercise goals!