Doing a regular pilates workout is one of the best ways to change the shape of your body. Incorporated with a healthy diet and regular cardio exercise, doing pilates several days a week will help to tone your body and make your muscles longer and leaner over time.
Pilates is a go-to choice for professional dancers. While it's unrealistic to expect to look like a professional dancer after several months of practicing pilates, you can certainly work toward improving your posture and making your body more svelte and lean.
What Does Pilates Do?
Pilates uses controlled movements, primarily focused in your "core" (a term for your torso) to build body strength, flexibility and endurance. It's a body conditioning routine that won't result in bulky muscles. Instead, the movements serve to lengthen your muscles as it strengthens them. The most popular form of pilates is mat-based, where you do a series of movements using a mat on the floor. Other forms of pilates require the use of large expensive pieces of equipment commonly found in pilates studios.
Whatever the form, pilates has the power to dramatically transform the way your body looks. It will give you a sleek, toned body with a flat abdomen and and slender thighs in addition to better posture.
Why Choose Pilates?
Many times women tend to focus their workout efforts solely on cardio. After all, what's the point of working out if you're not burning a huge number of calories? This kind of thinking is misguided. In fact, your body needs a combination of cardio and strength training to truly transform itself. You're doing yourself a huge disservice by limiting your fitness routine to only cardio-based activities.
Pilates is a great choice because you can obtain a full body sculpting exercise in just a single one-hour class. Especially if you find weight lifting equipment intimidating or tedious, pilates is a great alternative for any sort of muscle toning you're looking to accomplish. If you haven't taken a class, try one and see. Chances are the you'll feel slightly sore over your entire body the day after taking a pliates class because all muscle groups have been used. Pilates is powerful in its effectiveness at targeting your entire body in a single workout.
What are the Mental Benefits of Pilates?
Any form of exercise will benefit you not only physically, but mentally as well. Pilates is no exception. In fact, Joseph Pilates, the founder of pilates, believed that are physical and mental health are intertwined. As a result, the principles of pilates center around methods of well-being that benefit participants both internally and externally: concentration, breathing, control and flowing movements. Since pilates teaches you to control and balance your body and mind, often focusing on the quality of a movement rather than the quality, you're getting both a physical and mental workout in your exercise.
Pilates' power also lays in the fact that anyone can do it. It isn't high impact and there is little jarring and stress placed upon your body. Best of all, it can be done almost anywhere. With the plethora of pilates classes and at-home DVD's available, anyone can partake in the exercise.