Many people have taken to Pilates owing to the numerous health benefits it offers. As a low-impact exercise that not just helps in toning the body but also has physiological benefits, Pilates has captured the imagination of many fitness enthusiasts. When Chinese researchers measured changes in women’s brain activity after 10 weeks of Pilates training, they found an increase in the brain’s alpha peak power, which is related to neural network activity, memory performance and other cognitive functions.
Many celebrities including Katrina Kaif, Hardik Pandya, Jahnvi Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor among others are often seen acing the different postures. If you wonder why you should also take up Pilates — described as ‘the thinking man’s exercise’ by Joseph Pilates — here are some reasons.
Builds the core
Pilates benefits the core and improves its strength. In fact, according to a Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise study, after completing 36 weeks of Pilates training, women strengthened their rectus abdominis (the muscle responsible for six-packs) by an average of 21 per cent, while eliminating muscle imbalances between the right and left sides of their cores.
Helps relieve back pain
A stabilised core helps alleviate stress on the lower back region which improves mobility.
The workout not only improves physical health but also has physiological effects due to focus on one’s breath and maintaining the body balance.
Tight muscles are often responsible for limiting the body’s range of motion. This may lead to reduced exercise performance or cause injury. Pilates by its ability to open up the tight muscles of the body helps to improve flexibility.
Can Pilates be done by everyone?
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If one is older or hasn’t exercised for some time or has medical conditions, it is best to consult your doctor first. Similarly, pregnant women should also check with their gynaecologist.
If you are just starting out, start slow and gradually increase the intensity under an experienced fitness trainer. Pilates can be adapted to different training programmes, for amateurs or seasoned athletes who are looking to up their game.
Are you game?
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