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Pilates is probably one of my favourite types of exercise and it has SO many benefits. Not only does it make you stronger and less injury prone, it is also super FUN!
I know what you’re probably thinking – she’s just another whacko physio who loves exercise, of course she’d say she loves Pilates. That’s where you are wrong! I am not like most physiotherapists. For one thing – I actually struggle most of the time to make myself do exercise, so if I say something is transformative and fun you better believe it baby!
For me personally, Pilates has changed my life. I’ve gone from forcing myself to run even though I hate running, to now actually looking forward to the next time I do Pilates!
There are SO many reasons why you should start practicing Pilates, but here are my most favourite.
1. Pilates is amazing for your health
Not only is Pilates super fun – it has literally hundreds of health benefits!
Some of the most important benefits:
- Prevention and management of musculoskeletal injuries including low back pain
- Increases bone density through resistance training, decreasing chance of health conditions such as osteoporosis
- Increases concentration
- Assists in stress management and relaxation
- Improved posture and flexibility
- Increases strength and muscle tone.
After I do a Pilates class is when I notice the most benefit. I love the feeling of working out my stress from the day, and the feeling of total relaxation when I’m doing stretches afterwards is the BEST! I just know that it’s doing wonders for my mindset and as well as for my body.
2. You can start at literally any fitness level and build up
Pilates is for EVERYONE! Literally everyone at any fitness level can begin a Pilates practice. You can start with simple exercises using just your body weight, or can progress up to advanced exercises using equipment.
Better yet – you can make each and every exercise harder or easier as needed, with really simple changes. You can literally start your Pilates practice on a towel on your living room floor. You don’t need anything fancy, and you can start right now. It’s seriously that easy!
3. Pilates is great for people with injuries
The exercises in Pilates are highly modifiable, meaning that you can alter them to suit whatever your injury might be.
Most importantly, Pilates also helps you to heal! By increasing strength, flexibility and muscle tone, Pilates can assist you to heal from most common musculoskeletal injuries.
For me, Pilates has been transformational in helping me manage my low back pain. I used to play hockey and do rowing when I was younger, and this caused me to damage the discs in my back. Pilates helps me to strengthen my core so that I barely even notice my back anymore, because I’m so much stronger.
If you do have a pre-existing injury, do make sure you check in with your local Pilates-trained physiotherapist who can set you up with a program that suits you personally!
4. You can do Pilates anywhere
You can literally do Pilates ANYWHERE. All you need is yourself. Sure, you can use equipment if you want to! In fact, there’s some fantastic pieces of Pilates equipment such as resistance bands that can travel really easily with you.
If you travel for work, you can easily do your Pilates in a hotel room. Heading away on a trip? Try some Pilates in the morning on the beach before you start your day.
Because it is so easy to do ANYWHERE, you can enjoy the benefits of Pilates wherever you go! I also find that this makes me more likely to do it. No matter where I am, no matter what equipment I have, I can still do my Pilates practice.
5. Pilates is so much fun
Honestly, I LOVE Pilates. I love how it’s so easy to laugh at myself when I start wobbling around all over the place, or when I fall over while trying to balance on one leg. You can definitely feel the burn, but it’s a satisfying feeling.
If you’re thinking about starting Pilates, why not give an online program a go to see if it’s for you? My favourite program is MerryBody by The Merrymaker Sisters.
MerryBody is a holistic yoga, Pilates and meditation program, and you can sign up on a monthly membership with no lock in contracts!