“You will feel better in ten sessions, look better in twenty sessions, and have a completely new body in thirty sessions.” – Joseph Pilates
For years now, Pilates has been touted by people ranging from health experts to celebrities, singing praises of how it sculpts the body without the bulk of weight lifting. Clearly the power of Pilates is credible. But there are many benefits beyond that toned behind; here are a few reasons you should consider trying a Pilates class.
1. Pilates is three-dimensional, working the entire body.
Pilates is an overall body fitness system that addresses imbalances, core control, strength, flexibility, movement efficiency and balance. Because it is low-impact and works multiple muscle groups at the same time, PhysioFit Physical Therapy & Wellness offers Pilates classes to the public through their wellness center, but they also incorporate Pilates into their physical therapy and post-rehabilitation programs.
2. Pilates balances strength with flexibility, helping to reduce the chance of injury.
Unlike weight training, which works muscles individually, Pilates exercises force muscles to work together, rebalancing the muscles and making them work more efficiently. Combined with the Pilates focus on core stability, strengthening both the core and the back, the workout helps to prevent injury and improve athletic ability — this is why so many athletes use Pilates as a part of their fitness regimen.
3. Pilates is easy to adapt for a variety of fitness levels.
Those that question whether older clients or beginners can take a Pilates class need only look at the reason Joseph Pilates created his exercises: He developed his original exercises after World War I, to help prisoners of war, weakened by years of incarceration, regain strength and mobility. Certified instructors learn a variety of ways to adapt Pilates exercises to the needs of their clients, allowing classes and private lessons to be adjusted for a variety of different body types and abilities.
People that incorporate Pilates into their exercise routine can see a variety of benefits, including:
• Longer, leaner muscles
• Improved posture
• Increased core strength, stability and peripheral mobility
• Enhanced functional fitness and ease of movement
• Balanced strength and flexibility
• Heightened body awareness
• Better balance, coordination and circulation Pilates classes come in two types: mat classes, and classes on apparatus or the reformer.
Mat classes are usually less expensive and use the weight of your body to challenge the core. Apparatus work, on the other hand, has more whole body and alignment work in it. The equipment can assist or destabilize the movement environment to perfectly match the abilities of the student to their challenge point, maintaining good form.
In either case, take private sessions with a PhysioFit instructor to start learning Pilates exercises.
This allows the instructor to individualize the exercises to meet the needs of the client and to apply modifications as necessary. This also allows the client to develop a successful groundwork for effectively practicing a Pilates program.
One of the most amazing benefits of Pilates is that one can continue this exercise form to any age and enjoy the results. Many people give up exercises such as aerobics and running because high-impact activities are less tolerable with age. However, we have also seen people successfully return to such fitness programs when they cross-train with a good Pilates routine.
It is refreshing to know that we do not have to settle for a life of stiffness, pain and movement limitations as we get older. A Pilates regimen opens the door to healthful body mechanics and fitness, no matter what stage of life we are in.
Call (650) 947-8500 and we’ll get
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kim Gladfelter, MPT, OCS, FAAOMPT
Women's Health Physical Therapy Specialist at PhysioFit Physical Therapy & Wellness
Kim Gladfelter is a physical therapist, Pilates instructor, educator, author, and co-founder of PhysioFit Physical Therapy & Wellness. She is known as a keen, well-rounded expert of healing through movement and women’s health specialist in the Silicon Valley area.
Kim has helped men and women of all ages to stay active and feel their best. She also writes about managing pain in her health columns, blogs and the local Los Altos Town Crier newspaper as well as reaches out to the local community, support groups, schools, libraries, and sports centers to advise and educate on body awareness and therapeutic exercise.
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