Why You Should Start Doing Pilates
Living right next to beach, and wearing bikinis every other day, let’s just say that eating healthy and looking healthy is a top priority nowadays (but when is it not?). With the recent move to Santa Monica, I decided to sign up for Pilates Platinum. The studio is just a 4 minute walk from me so I figured I’d give it a try since I’ve never actually tried pilates before. They also have a location in Venice Beach that I frequent.
Pilates Platinum is a great cardio and strength training workout that is a more inventive and aggressive approach to full-body fat burning and conditioning. I’m tired of just running in the mornings. The class totally kicked my ass!! It was more advanced that a traditional pilates studio – burning up to 700 calories per workout. I have to say, it’s quite addicting.
I did some research as to why people were converting to pilates and found 6 core reasons as to why pilates is good for the body AND soul. Besides the obvious weight loss, pilates offers so much more than just dropping a few pounds. No wonder A list models like Karlie Kloss, Gigi Hadid, and Jordan Dunn are advocates.
- Pilates calms your mind and emotions.
You have probably heard a lot about the benefits of mindfulness meditation for your mind and body. By focusing only on the activity at hand, and trust you won’t have time to think about anything else, meditation:
- relieves anxiety and depression,
- helps treat insomnia,
- sharpens the mind,
- uncovers creative thinking,
- relieves stress,
- helps with chronic pain management,
- reduces negative emotions,
- helps fight addictions and instill positive habits,
- lowers blood pressure and improve cardio vascular health.
Releasing and preventing stress improves well-being. So, that means for a full hour you’re focused on your 1) mind 2) body and 3) and how they move together. The stress of bills, work, and boyfriends is gone. Ahh.
2. Releases stress tension in your body
You have probably heard about the famous “fight-or-flight” response to stressful situations. When confronted with a stressful situation (real, like almost getting in a car wreck or imaginative, like fear of public speaking) our body releases a wave of stress hormones to prime our body to fight or flee.
In a stressful situation our body is ready to move at its peak performance but in most modern-day scenarios we can’t run away when stuck in a traffic jam and can’t pick a fight with our boss. Physical activity is supposed to metabolize the buildup of stress hormones but instead we try to keep everything inside and work our way through it.
The result? Stress hormones settle in our body causing hypertension, muscle spasms and pain.
3. Amazing abs
Pilates hits your core, without bulking, (or, in Pilates speak, your “powerhouse”) unlike any other workout. In fact, after completing 36 weeks of Pilates training, women strengthened their rectus abdominis (the muscle responsible for six-packs) by an average of 21 percent, while eliminating muscle imbalances between the right and left sides of their cores, according to a Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise study.
4. It promotes weightless and long, lean appearance
If you practice Pilates regularly, it will change your body. Known for creating long, strong muscles and a leaner look; Pilates improves muscle tone, balances musculature, supports beautiful posture, and teaches you to move with ease and grace. All of these things will make you look and feel very fit.
5. It’s great for sex
Wow, I think this is the first time I’ve ever talked about this on my blog.
When Pilates instructors say, “lift your pelvic floor,” what they are really saying is “do Kegels,” according to Zindell. Pilates moves like those strengthen your pelvic floor muscles to up your pleasure in the bedroom. “You have way better orgasms with Pilates. It’s amazing for sex.” In addition to building your endurance, making you more flexible, and wanting to show off your newly sculpted bod.
6. It Boosts Your Brainpower
Joseph Pilates called his workout method “the thinking man’s exercise.” It could very well be. When Chinese researchers measured changes in women’s brain activity after 10 weeks of Pilates training, they found an increase in the brain’s alpha peak power, which is related to neural network activity, memory performance, and other cognitive functions
6. It’s a whole-body fitness
Unlike some forms of exercise, Pilates does not over-develop some parts of the body and neglect others. While Pilates training focuses on core strength, it trains the body as an integrated whole. Pilates workouts promote strength and balanced muscle development as well as flexibility and increased range of motion for the joints.
Attention to core support and full-body fitness — including the breath and the mind — provide a level of integrative fitness that is hard to find elsewhere.
I’m looking forward to seeing the change in my body and personal well-being after this month at Pilates Platinum.
images courtesy of self.com + karlie kloss Instagram