Created in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates, the exercises coordinate movement and breath together to work the smaller and deeper stabilizing muscles of the body as much as your principal muscles. Studies have shown that Pilates improves the quality of life by having a positive effect on depression and pain, most notably decreasing back pain.
Pilates is for everybody, regardless of gender, age, race, size, ability, or current fitness level. The Pilates repertoire, which includes mat and specialized equipment exercises, is made up of over 600 exercises and variations.
With that being said, here are 5 evidence-based ways in which Pilates can change your health for the better:
It increases core strength
Pilates is famously known for its emphasis on the core. The core is all of the surrounding muscles of the trunk that when strengthened and pliable, support and stabilize the body.
It decreases stress
The inward focus and use of breath from Pilates can down-regulate the nervous system. This, in turn, can take you out of fight-or-flight mode, lower cortisol, and decrease stress over time.
It boosts your immunity
Research shows that Pilates helps boost immune system functioning, especially in older adults, because it improves circulation. Along with improved circulation comes improved immune system function.
It strengthens your bones
The current lifestyle of more sitting and less moving is detrimental to our health and our bone density. Studies have shown Pilates to be effective in increasing quality of life, relieving pain, and increasing bone density.
It enhances body awareness
With enhanced body awareness, your body is better able to respond to stimuli, which can prevent injuries and falls. Better body awareness may even help you prevent overeating, as you’ll be more in tune with your body’s hunger signals.
(Research sources: www.vogue.com, www.yourpilates.co.nz, www.time.com, www.healthline.com)