In my quest to get fit, I recently came across some pilates classes and I was ecstatic to find out that there was a woman’s only session which wasn’t too far from home. So I signed up immediately.
To be honest I didn’t know much about pilates…..it was the fact that it was women only that initially tempted me. Following a shoutout on my Facebook about pilates a lot of my friends couldn’t recommend it enough.
So what is pilates?
There are 6 pilates principles:
Pilates is all about strengthening your core muscles to help improve your general health and fitness. The exercises are done on a mat and items such as a ball and a band are generally used.
The exercises are gentle and my instructor shows you two to three ways of doing them so you can adjust the difficulty level to what suits you. I actually find pilates relaxing. It relaxes your mind and body. You have to shut everything out and focus entirely on your exercise to get them right and get the most out of the session. Movements are gentle as the focus is on completing the exercises in slow, smooth and flowing movements and with complete control. In addition to this you also need to focus on your breathing. You really need to concentrate to get the exercise right and to breathe correctly. Although the movements are slow and gentle, this does not mean you are not getting a work out – I generally feel it after 48 hours.
One of the things that you need to be aware of in pilates is your breathing. Focusing on your breathing helps make the movements more fluid and gives you a better workout. I must admit this is one of my weaknesses…I often find myself holding my breath in a middle of an exercise or not breathing in tune with the exercises but I am slowly improving and getting a better breathing technique.
What I love about pilates is that although it focus’s on core strength, your whole body is given a work out. However if your main aim is to lose weight then it is best to add some areobic exercises to your routine along with pilates.
Some research seems to indicate that pilates can help with lower back pain. I suffer from lower back pain randomly since having children and I do believe pilates is helping with that as I don’t seem to experience it as often.
I have been going since January and I can see myself continuing this into the forseeable future.
Have you got any local pilates classes near you? Why not give it a try?