Pilates is for everyone. One of the best qualities of this amazing fitness technique is its ability to be adapted to your body wherever and however you are at this very moment. Moves can be modified or progressed based on your capability and comfort level.
Pilates offers surprising benefits-some better known and some trade secrets. Did you know that it can improve your sex life? Because Pilates deeply works the core muscles located in the pelvis, regular practice increases your ability to control the show down below! It also relieves constipation. If you suffer from poor circulation or a sluggish digestive tract, the rolling and undulating movements of Pilates literally move blocked stuff through your system. Pilates can be cardio too. By mastering the mat (or apparatus) routines you can create a challenging Pilates workout that never pauses, allowing you to up your heart rate and burn fat and calories without stressing your joints like some other cardio exercises.
Here are more reasons to try Pilates:
Pilates improves your posture for better body function including the relief of chronic pain-especially nagging back pain.
Pilates enhances your alternate athletic pursuits. Running? Swimming? Team sports? Pilates makes everything you already do that much better.
Pilates balances the body's musculature, which means less chance of injury.
Employing the Pilates philosophy, from how you sit to how you eat, can be life altering.
Pilates increases bone-density, so as you age, you are less susceptible to breaks and fractures.
Pilates matwork, including the option of props, is a portable practice.
Pilates' articulation exercises improve digestion and circulation.
Pilates fights gravity. The movement in Pilates is about the "up," and we use our muscles to help keep everything where it belongs for as long as we possibly can.
Pilates can give you a rocking body! Happy side effects of Pilates can include weight-loss, waist whittling, and long, lean muscles.
Pilates improves your mood. As Joe Pilates, who developed the system, said, "Physical fitness is the first requisite to happiness."
Hopefully, you're now asking, "How do I begin?" The best way to jump into Pilates is to find an authentic Pilates studio near you. (You can find a directory of teachers at http://www.classicalpilates.net/) A professional can help you evaluate your body's needs objectively.However, my new book The Women's Health Big Book of Pilates also offers self-assessments you can use to determine your proper starting level and then many ways to personalize a routine. You'll not only reap the multitude of physical and mental benefits of Pilates, but you'll also be fulfilling Joe's wish that we each take personal responsibility for our own health and well-being.
Brooke Siler is a New York Times bestselling author and the founder of re:AB Pilates Studio in New York City. She's one of the most sought after Pilates instructors in the industry and has taught Madonna, Liv Tyler, Zooey Deschanel, and countless other celebrities her signature body-shaping techniques.