Pilates is a form of exercise that focuses on body conditioning and strength training. What sets Pilates apart is its focus on toning the muscles with springs, bands, or your own body weight.
Similar to yoga and tai chi or other forms of exercise that focus on intentional movement, pilates has a number of health benefits that are both therapeutic and preventative including:
- Pain Relief– pilates can help people recover from injury or manage chronic conditions.
- Core Strength– pilates helps strengthen stomach muscles as well as your side body, mid to lower back, buttocks, and hips.
- Posture– a strong core makes it easier to have better posture.
- Flexibility– pilates exercises involve a fair bit of stretching which leads to an expanded range of motion.
- Balance & Coordination– when your core and center of gravity are strong it’s easier to perform multiple movements at the same time which can reduce injuries.
- Mental Health & Well-being– although it’s not considered a high-intensity form of exercise, pilates gets your heart pumping and body moving which is known to reduce anxiety and help improve mental health.
View this article to see how Alycea Ungaro, author of 15 Minute Everyday Pilates, shares her routine for beginners. Some moves are shown using Pilates studio equipment, but you can do most moves at home. Check with a doctor first if you’re a man over 45 or a woman over 55, or if you have a medical condition.