You may have noticed the increasing popularity of Pilates in your gyms and in popular media. In fact, one of the reasons behind Pilates popularity of late is that many Hollywood celebrities have embraced the exercise and hey…what’s good for the celebrities is good for us as well…isn’t it
Pilates was created by Joseph Pilates around 1914. Joseph was living a very active life as both a boxer and a performer when the first World War began. During the war, Joseph was placed into an internment camp due to his German heritage. In the camp, he began to show his fellow bunkmates some techniques of exercise that he’d been working on for the past twenty years. His program incorporated both techniques that he had created, as well as drawing upon fitness regimens that were used in ancient Rome and Greece. It was believed that he also drew inspiration from wrestling, Yoga and Chinese Martial Arts.
As the exercise routine gained followers, Joseph worked hard to train new instructors to ensure that people were getting the proper benefits from the exercise.
Pilates is a system of over 500 different types of exercises that draw upon both the body and the mind. The exercises are designed to help make the body more flexible and strong and hence, many of the exercises are focused on building ‘the core’ of the body.
Pilates practitioners refer to ‘the core’ when they are speaking about the muscles of the abdomen, the back, and the pelvic region. Pilates incorporates the use of non-high-intensity routines so that one may feel even more energetic after performing the exercises. Practitioners tend to report a gain in strength as well as added flexibility and a better sense of balance.
Pilates can allow the individual to gain better posture and increased circulation of the joints through its many exercises. A participant can choose to practise Pilates exclusively or add on Pilates to their other fitness routine.
In addition to the positive effects Pilates has on the body, the mind can benefit as well. You’ll find yourself to be more aware of your body and Pilate can also prove to be an efficient method of stress relief.
The average pilates participant should practise between two and four times per week to achieve optimum result. If you’re interested in Pilates, you can do it either on your own through the use of books or videos to guide your practice or you can participate in group sessions in which you learn to enjoy pilates amongst others.
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