Wellness Wednesday

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The Benefits of Pilates

Pilates is a physical fitness system that was developed in the early 1900 by Joseph Pilates, after whom it was named. It is practiced worldwide, especially in the West. By 2005, there were 11 million people practicing the discipline regularly and 14,000 instructors in the United States alone.

You can practice Pilates on a mat using your body weight at home (using a DVD or with a trainer) or in a class. You can also use special equipment at the gym ( reformer). The exercises focus on the core but you can gain strength in your arms and legs as well. The positions and the movements activate the core by using the arms and legs to apply weight on the core. The movements might look simple but they require a lot of precision, control, concentration and breathing. You can definitely feel your muscles working.

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The benefits of Pilates are:

  • It boosts muscle flexibility and joint mobility.
  • It strengthens the muscles in the arms, thighs, pelvis and the abdomen.
  • You engage your muscles in a strong but gentle way.
  • You can do it at home for the cost of a DVD and a mat.
  • No equipment is required though gyms have special equipment.
  • It improves posture.
  • It has a strong mind/body connection which you may like if you already enjoy yoga but need a more intense core workout.
  • Because it is strength-training you will benefit from Pilates if you suffer from arthritis.
  • If you are diabetic you will benefit from stronger muscles but you must consult your doctor first.
  • It may relieve chronic back pain if you work out with guidance and strengthen your muscles.

 If you have health conditions like heart disease and high blood pressure consult your doctor first before embarking on the program.

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Stay Healthy and Happy

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