There are certain exercises that doctors, physiotherapists and health experts will always recommend for all-round fitness, and featuring high amongst them is Pilates – developed by German physical-culturist Joseph Pilates in the early 20th Century … but what exactly is it and what benefits can you hope to achieve from it? From her healthy hub in Portugal, Longevity Wellness Resort’s fitness expert Sofia Gouveia explains …
What exactly is Pilates?
Pilates is a holistic and integrated approach to everyday life, originally called “contrology” by its founder Joseph Pilates. It aims to help us build strength from the inside out, creating efficient body awareness, which is essential for our daily tasks with no injuries and no pain. To help and develop an efficient core and body awareness there are principles in Pilates such as focus, breathing, alignment, core stability, control and flowing movements.
Who or what is it good for?
It is particularly good for back, neck and joint pain.
How does it improve fitness?
In general, Pilates helps to improve your range of motion, flexibility, posture and core strength; by doing correct exercises with a qualified instructor, Pilates can help you to reduce back and neck pain.
Can anyone do it?
Yes, anyone and everyone can do Pilates – that’s one of its great advantages, because it is adaptable – just make sure that you have a certified Pilates Teacher.
Top Tips when you’re practicing Pilates …
– Find and train with a Certified Pilates Teacher
– Wear comfortable cloth during the class
– Practice bare foot
– Bring a towel for the class – it is really important that you use a towel. It’s a simple detail that will reduce the tension in your neck during some exercises.
– If during any exercise your feel any type of pain, stop immediately and inform your Pilates Teacher.
– While you are doing your daily tasks, be aware of your body: “sit tall” with a long neck; pull your shoulders back and down; try to have a neutral spine especially in the lower back.
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