After university, when I started my first office job after only a few months I was experiencing pain in my back. I was terrified that my adult life would be impacted by that forever. I researched how to prevent such long term impacts at the time and this is how my pilates journey begun. There are many pilates benefits for body and mind. Pilates is a great way to achieve a strong and toned body. Regular practice of Pilates can provide numerous benefits for your physical well-being.
In this post I want to focus on the medical benefits of pilates. Pilates is not physiotherapy and pilates instructors are not medically trained. However Pilates is a full body workout and it can help in some medical conditions. Originally Joseph Pilates, created a number of exercises for men who were injured during the first world war to help them recover and move again. After the war he started to work with boxers and dancers. Some of health benefits of pilates are improvement in joint mobility, injury recovery and lower back pain.
1. Pilates benefits: Joint mobility
In everyday life our bodies often move not necessarily in the best way due to bad habits, different strengths, flexibility or as a result of injuries. Movement can be restricted. Pilates focuses on improving your range of motion. You will do a number of exercises which focusing on increasing that range of movement especially in your spine. Your spinal column is built from a number of small bones and muscles. It can be difficult to target all of them. This is one of the goals and benefits of pilates.
2. Pilates benefits: Reducing and preventing lower back pain
Pain in lower back is often caused by habits that we take for granted, for example sitting hunched over your desktop for long hours, heavy lifting without bending your knees and in general bad posture. Pilates has a strong focus on lower back exercises in specific which helps you improve that area. You will also strengthen your abdominal muscles. This will help you hold your spine tall and in conjunction, you will learn to move your body in a more beneficial way which holds long term benefits.
3. Pilates benefits: Prevention and recovery from injury
If you practise pilates regularly your muscles lengthen and strengthen. Your joint mobility will improve. You will reduce any imbalance in your body and rebalance your posture. This will help to prevent your body from getting injured. And the other way, if you’ve had an injury by practising pilates you will increase muscular strength and joint mobility which will help you to recover from the injury. I like the first scenario better and I encourage you to do pilates regularly to prevent injuries:)
Since i have been doing pilates, I haven’t had back pain and this is one of many pilates benefits. My knees are better and I can walk much more. My body is strong and I feel great. Health benefits of pilates are improved joint mobility, prevention or reduction in lower back pain and better injury recovery. I recommend practicing 2-3 hours a week, however you will also improve from exercising for only an hour a week regularly. The greatest pilates benefit is that you just feel good about yourself:) So why not give Pilates a try and experience the benefits for yourself?