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We all are very well aware of the importance of exercise in our daily life. The Pilates method of exercise was developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s. It emphasizes the balanced development of the body through core strength and flexibility. In addition, Pilates increases circulation and improves mental and physical well-being. There are two ways to exercise in Pilates:
• Mat exercises: Mat exercises in Pilates require only a floor mat and training. These exercises are designed so that your body uses its own weight as resistance.
• Machines: Using the principle of resistance the other exercise method uses a variety of machines to tone and strengthen the body.
Some of the first people treated by Pilates were soldiers returning from war and dancers such as Martha Graham and George Balanchine
Benefits of Pilates Exercises:
• It targets whole body fitness: Unlike some forms of exercise, Pilates does not over-develop some parts of the body and neglect others. Pilates workouts promote strength and balanced muscle development as well as flexibility and increased range of motion for the joints.
• Builds strength without bulk: Pilate exercises are aimed at building long, lean and toned muscles. It takes advantage of a type of muscle contraction called an eccentric contraction to create strong muscles. Pilates does not rely on frequent repetition, and thus no overgrown muscles.
• Develops core strength: The term core refers to the deep muscles of the back, abdomen, and pelvic floor. When the core is strong, the frame of the body is supported. As you develop your core strength you develop stability throughout your entire torso. This is one of the ways Pilates helps people overcome back pain. Flat abs can also be attained through it.
• Promotes weight loss: Pilates exercises are very good choice if you want to remodel your body, get rid of cellulite, tone your muscles, get a correct body posture, without actually increasing the muscle mass of the body. Pilates becomes a major weight loss and body toning tool when combined with some aerobic activities.
• Increases energy levels: Pilates exercises gets the breath and blood circulation moving. It stimulates the spine and muscles, and floods the body with a good emotion one gets from exercising the whole body.
• Improves posture of the body: Pilate exercises support beautiful posture, and teaches you to move with ease and grace. Pilates trains the body to express itself with strength and harmony. Some Pilates postures are shown below.
• It is a mind-body workout: The mind-body connection is essential to the practice of Pilates. It has been established to reduce stress, anxiety, and helps lift depression. The smooth, accurate and flowing movements of Pilates are designed to make you more mindful of your body.
• Prevents you from future injuries: Pilates strengthens your body and helps prevent future injuries. There is less risk for injury since no set of muscles is over or under trained in Pilates.
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