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The Benefits of Pilates

Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates in the first half of the 20th century. He believed that mental and physical well-being were interrelated and so designed exercises to strengthen both the body and the mind. Pilates is a body conditioning routine which tones, strengthens and improves flexibility in the arms, legs, back, stomach and hips. The exercises are designed to put the spine and pelvis in alignment therefore creating a strong core to improve balance, posture and flexibility.

So what is so great about Pilates? Pilates is incredibly popular and is growing in popularity by the day with everyone from the high flying business person to the celebrities you see in films to the elderly taking part. With so many benefits, it is not hard to see why just a varied and diverse group of people are fans. Pilates is a low-impact workout which is ideal for people recovering from injury, pregnant women, top flight athletes and dancers, to name but a few.

Let’s take a look at elite athletes and how Pilates can benefit them. Pilates is known to increase strength and flexibility but in top athletes this is even more important. Pilates works every muscle in the body and is careful not to over work any of them leading to conditioning of the entire body. For athletes who specialise in one event such as running, Pilates will assist with improving their core muscles, balance and breathing techniques. With an all over body workout, the athlete will become stronger and fitter if all of his muscles are worked.

Of course, Pilates isn’t just for top athletes; it is hugely beneficial to everyone. Anyone can start Pilates, no matter the age, sex, weight or injury. It can build up muscle and strengthen ligaments to avoid and recover from injuries and can even increase bone density. No wonder it is so popular with people suffering from Scoliosis, Osteoporosis and Arthritis! Giving someone the opportunity to become stronger when suffering with these illnesses can give someone their quality of life back, as well as improving the condition and making it more manageable.

Pilates will make you look and feel better and more streamlined, and what better way to celebrate this but to invest in some beautiful new clothes to show off your more toned figure? Pilates clothing should be comfortable and allow for the movement involved in a class but this doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be gorgeous colours and luxurious fabrics. As you become more advanced in more difficult poses, you may realise that your existing wardrobe isn’t really suitable or comfortable. Practical Pilates wear is a must and it is a good idea to wear layers to take off and put on as you need to. Pilates trousers are good for the winter when it is colder, and will give the warmth you need to exercise in comfort. Being warm and relaxed will prevent you from tensing and causing an injury or strain.

Pilates really does have so many benefits, you’ll wonder why you never tried it before.

Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilates
http://sports.yahoo.com/top/news?slug=ycn-10785947

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