The mere thought of exercising, especially Pilates, sends many of us to a corner to change the subject. We know that it is something we should do, yet it seems like it could be hard work, painful, boring or all three of the above. Isn’t it sad that by some estimation 95% of us do not get the amount of exercise we should get?
A whole dissertation could describe our inability to engage here and the reasons behind it, but many people may not know about the fun options available to them. Take Pilates. Contrary to popular belief this is a well-established exercise system created in the 1920s and not some kind of modern-day invention.
Joseph Pilates invented the principal to help soldiers rehabilitate when they were returning from war. It was a hit and emerged into the mainstream to become more accepted as a fun and inspiring way to work out.
The approach involves a system that focuses on three tenets. If you want to build bulk, though you need to look for alternative methods as here you will focus on strength, flexibility and awareness of your body.
You may find certain aerobic exercises on a treadmill to be rather boring or just don’t feel you want to get involved in the intricacies of weightlifting. Pilates may be right for you. If you like, it falls into the middle somewhat and can be more like resistance training.
You can use Pilates exercise apparatus or you can work on the floor by using a mat and there are several exercise machines, all of which are spring resistant.
One of the focal points of attention here and something you will hear an instructor refer to often is core training. You are building up your core muscle strength (abdomen, pelvis and hips) and helping to align your spine.
As you exercise, you need to focus your mind on these muscle areas and breathe in tandem with the movements.
Quality is very important here and not quantity. You must focus on contracting the proper muscles at the right time and early adopters of the system must listen to the instructor as they learn what it is all about.
Joseph Pilates coined the term “contrology.” He came up with 34 exercises based on the principles of contrology–a coordination of mind, body and spirit. Since he came up with these exercises several alternatives and modifications have been proposed. Today, many people swear by this system of training and how it has strengthened their posture, corrected imbalances, provided flexibility, eased movement and trained their core.
Experts say if you focus on your individual posture you will encounter far fewer health problems in the long term. Bad posture also suggests a lack of focus, discipline, self confidence and other social signals that many people want to adjust for obvious reasons. They have shown that Pilates improves postural problems for participants.
Another reason people turn to this solution is to help them with imbalance, and general coordination. It can also help to improve circulation and as we know that can help to ward off many debilitating injuries and diseases as we get older in life.
In core training this can increase muscle activity and therefore make muscle performance far more effective. In particular, expect to see some beneficial advances in and around the abs, the obliques and quads. Over time, you can expect increased mobility and flexibility due to resistance and repetition.
It’s also clear that people who want to improve performance at various sports enjoy core training and this approach. You can improve athletic performance through an increase in power, flexibility and strength and augment specific exercises relevant to the actual movement required in the nominated sport.
Today, Pilates comes in many shapes and forms. Many people engage with a like-minded group and enjoy a tremendous amount of spirit and energy when several people focus and are being pushed by the instructor. However, you can always begin by working with a simple mat.
It’s very important to focus on your breathing and to coordinate your breathing with the relevant contractions and expansions. Focus on strengthening, tightening and loosening muscles in a coordinated fashion and always focus your mind on the area you are working out. They have proven that a focused mind can yield amazing dividends and through the power of positive thinking you can inject extra value into your workouts.
While you can feel your way into this core training in the privacy of your own home, if you want to, it’s advisable to seek a qualified, professional instructor to help you make the most. A good instructor will help to assess your posture and see whether you are moving correctly at all times. The instructor will assess your current level of fitness and build an appropriate program for you. There’s also a danger you will go too quickly, use an incorrect range of motion or face difficulties with the actual movements themselves. This is where the instructor can step in and put you back on the right track.
In certain parts of society this solution has reached an almost cultlike status. Those who engage, swear by its benefits. Don’t you owe it to yourself to check out this form of exercise and to take your long-term health into consideration?