Pilates

Pilates aims to help strengthen the body evenly, with emphasis on the core strength to improve all round fitness and wellbeing. Pilates can be done with specialist equipment but all you really need is a mat which can cost around £5. You may think that pilates is only for a certain age group however, it can be for anyone of any age and from beginners to elite athletes. If you do have any apparatus, then it can be used to help support beginners or used as resistance for people looking to challenge themselves.

Benefits of pilates:

Pilates can help to improve your posture as back ache, headache and neck pain can all come from poor posture. This is called alignment which will help you to put less strain on your body and as you correct it over time then you may find that there will be less pressure on joints such as hips and knees. Doing pilates can also help to improve flexibility, yoga can be helpful for some people, but most don’t realise that pilates can be more effective. Pilates focuses on moving whilst you are stretching which means that your muscles are warm when you stretch allowing it to be less painful. The more flexible you become, the more you can enjoy better blood circulation.

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The movements you perform whilst doing pilates may not seem like they help you much however it helps to strengthen your whole body in a way that weights would not. As for example it can be very hard to find exercises to help target your abdominal muscles but pilates can do that exact job, it also strengthens your core and arms and legs. Pilates can help to reduce stress as sometimes pain and poor posture can add to your stress levels, but pilates can help with those problems and calm you. It focuses on your breathing and then you can become more relaxed and can start enjoying a better night’s sleep.

Can it help you lose weight?

Pilates is classed as a muscle strengthening activity which can help you to maintain a healthy weight, some classes/ videos can vary in intensity as they can go from being gentle or to a solid workout. If you are wanting to lose weight then it is advised that whilst doing pilates, on other days you should do some aerobic exercises such as running, walking or cycling. There are different videos online as currently there are not any classes, it is easy to do it from the comfort of your own home, the NHS website has some great tutorials. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-fitness-studio/pilates-for-beginners/