I was first introduced to Pilates back in 2008 when I started to look for help to rehab an old sports injury. When I was 19 I badly damaged my lower back in a rugby tackle. Just over 20 years later that injury resurfaced with a vengeance. My back locked up, I couldn’t stand up after I sat down and I couldn’t stand for long periods so I had to sit down. It hurt when I lay down and it hurt when I walked. It hurt in the morning when I got up and it hurt all day long – you get the picture.
Back in 2008, Pilates was not well known in Ireland and classes were heard to find. When gyms first started offering Pilates classes the emphases was mainly on core fitness and toning but nowadays it is widely recognised as a great way to rehab a wide range of issues.
I signed myself up for a set of 1 to 1 sessions and have not looked back since. My instructor was inspirational and my back issue was sorted. Since then I have been pain-free and enjoy a high level of strength, mobility and fitness.
Practising just 20 minutes of Pilates every morning allows me to enjoy lots of sports and activities without worrying about my old back injury.
I now realise that we are all in a constant state of rehab. We need to continuously recover from the fast-paced daily lives we live and Pilates is the king of recovery exercise systems. It’s also excellent for toning and strengthening the whole body – inside and out.
Here are my top 10 reasons for doing Pilates:
1. Pilates Increases Your Energy Levels.
Lifting weights can be very tiring and it takes a long time and a lot of energy to recover from a session. That’s ok if you are young and have nothing else to do or nobody else to look after. A good Pilates session will build enough strength to perform daily tasks comfortably and give you energy, not rob you of energy.
2. Improves Your Posture.
Pilates strengthens the muscles down your back and around your spine. It also lengthens your spine by removing pockets of tension from it.
3. Pilates Will Help Injury Proof You.
By increasing flexibility and stability throughout your body, your muscles will become more elastic and also give you more muscle control. The reason for this is because Pilates exercises strengthen muscles concentrically and eccentrically.
4. Increase Circulation and Relieves Tension.work is a big part of Pilates. This oxygenates the blood and nourishes cells throughout the body, It increases blood flow to the brain, which helps improve your mood, memory and focus.
5. Tones & Strengthens Deep Core Muscles.
Most sessions tend to focus on torso stability and control. Pilates works the deeper core muscles giving you strong, flat abdominal muscles all the way to your core. Strength and balance are key components of every session and this allows you to achieve a long lean body and improve all over body mobility.
6. Enhance Body Awareness.
This benefit can be overlooked and in my opinion, is one of the top takeaways that Pilates offers us. By identifying and strengthening the body’s deeper core muscles you learn how to move smartly and efficiently with control. Walking, running and all forms of movement become easier than they would normally be – so using less energy.
7. Pilates Balances Strength With Mobility.
Most of us have an imbalance in our muscles. Some are over-trained and others become neglected. We spend a lot of time bent forward at our desk, in our car and on our screens. We don’t do enough counter stretching and strengthening of our backs. We all tend to overuse certain muscles while neglecting others. Pilates works on rebalancing the muscles around the joints to enhance performance and reduce the chance of injury.
8. Improved Concentration Levels.
Our vestibular system which is directly connected to our core muscles helps our concentration levels. Being conscious of all your muscles and how to control them, you gradually strengthen the powerful mind-body connection. This improves your levels of awareness and focus in everyday life.
9. Enhance Athletic Performance.
Joseph Pilates was a keen boxer and later took his exercise system to the New York School of Ballet. His reason for developing this method of exercise was to tone and condition the bodies of professional Athletes and Ballet Dancers. Today, everyone from pro golfers to Olympic athletes use Pilates to improve their physical performance levels and avoid injury. And so should you.
10. It Will Boost Your Self-Esteem!
Pilates is suitable for all ages and when done regularly it will give you noticeable results. You will move more confidently through your daily tasks and still have enough energy to enjoy whatever comes your way and you’ll feel great about yourself.
Why not connect with me on Facebook and try a few free 20 short sessions and discover the many daily benefits of doing Pilates regularly.