If there’s one exercise style that’s taken the fitness world by storm in the last few years, it’s pilates. Everyone seems to be doing it and the benefits, particularly for older people, are said to be as much mental as they are physical.
What’s it all about?
Essentially it involves training your muscles to improve your posture and alignment. By focusing on your core strength, you enhance the smaller muscles in the body which in turn support the larger ligaments, tendons and joints.
The exercises were developed in the 1940s by Joseph Pilates who initially used the yoga-like moves to rehabilitate Second World War soldiers. He then modified the style for injured dancers and the modern day pilates method was born.
Why is it so good for you?
Pilates heightens your body awareness which in turn improves your overall agility, flexibility and strength. It helps you ensure your body is working at its optimal level all the time.
What does it involve?
Pilates consists of very intense stretching that incorporates workouts for your abdominal, leg, arm and back muscles. Some movements are slow and controlled while others are very fast.
What are the benefits?
Muscle tone, increased strength, flexibility and improved overall mobility. It also helps you focus on your breathing which is great for improving circulation and relieving stress. Osteopaths and physiotherapists recommend pilates as one of the safest forms of exercise today.