What Is Pilates?
Do you know what's hot with celebrities, yuppies and women today? Yes, move over Yoga, boxercise and aerobics...the latest in-thing making the Hollywood and posh clubs round is Pilates. Huh....what exactly is Pilates?
Pilates refers to a type of body conditioning exercise that used a series of controlled movements to strengthen the body and tone muscles. Pilates can help increase your range of movement, muscle strength, improve your mood and sense of well being, and provide you with greater flexibility and a better posture. One major reason is the fact that pilates can help increase strength, coordination, flexibility and endurance without adding bulky muscles. Although mat exercises are the most common way to practice pilates, a safer way to practice pilates is training on various machines. On machines exercises involve better use of resistance and controlled movements to achieve desired results. Most people who do pilates report that it can be difficult at first, but that the body slowly conforms to the practice.
Pilates and Back Pain
Back pain is one of the most complaints that doctors report hearing from their patients. It now appears that pilates can help ease this common ailment. Pilates on the machine can help with the neutral alignment of the spine and can help strengthen the muscles that support proper posture. This in turn can help ameliorate much of the pain associated with back problems. When your posture is improved, your back muscles receive less tension, resulting in less wear and tear on the intervertebral joints and discs. Your muscles become stronger and suppler, your movements become more fluid, and your body becomes more efficient in dealing with stress and tension. Pilates can teach you greater awareness of how your body moves and can help you change any bad habits that may be hurting your back.
Pilates and Weight Loss
Strength training is very important in weight loss. While it's true that it's important to have a caloric deficient in order to lose weight, the importance of your lean body mass is often overlooked. Your lean body mass lies just under your body fat, and 24 hours a day, it is constantly working, burning away calories. While most people who strive to lose weight focus on losing their body fat, it's actually far more efficient to build up your lean body mass. You may have heard before that simply starving yourself does not help you achieve permanent weight loss because you tend to lose muscle and water. Because pilates is essentially a strength-training program, it can help you lose weight by helping you keep your lean body mass, and even increase it. Then in addition to pilates, you should choose a cardiovascular program in order to maximize your efforts. This will ensure that you retain your lean body mass and increase your metabolism. Your weight loss goal will be healthy and safe!