5 Great (And Unexpected) Reasons To Do Pilates

We all know pilates make your body look tight and toned but so much more can be had from doing a regular practice. Check out these surprising benefits:

1. You'll have a better golf swing.

Pilates move the body in all directions. Because most of us sit all day, it is important to do exercises, like pilates, that rotate the spine. Golfers benefit from having a flexible spine. The same can be said about the shoulders. Typical exercises work the muscles around the shoulders which can leave them feeling tight. Pilates strengthen the shoulder muscles around the joint, encouraging shoulder joint mobility.

2. You'll build better bones.

As pilates instructor Cassie Piasecki explains: "My clients love the part of my classes when we "jump." Jumping is done while lying on your back. There is a jump board connected to the Pilates Reformer machine, and you jump on it the same as you would jump on a trampoline. Jumping is a bone-building, impact exercise. Since you are laying down on the Reformer, there is little to no pressure being put on the spine, reducing the risk of injury often seen in traditional impact exercises."  

3. Your balance will improve dramatically.

In a class setting, the majority of exercises will be done on a pilates reformer. These exercises can have varying degrees of difficulty. Maybe you begin with one foot on the floor and the other on the reformer. And as you improve your balance, you will be able to move into more difficult positions.

4. You'll strengthen your pelvic muscles.

One of the main tenants of pilates is "core activation." It is the foundation in every pilates class. The core is activated before beginning any exercise. The muscles in the core include those of the pelvic floor. The stronger your pelvic floor, the less likely you will be to have major trouble with bladder leaks later in life.  

5. You'll get mindful exercise without all the 'om.'

Again, Piasecki explains: "Pilates will help you to tune into your body in order to activate the muscles. You need to listen to the instructions carefully in order to be safe, and you need to pay attention to the feedback you are getting from the equipment. You cannot think about your grocery list, tomorrow's board meeting or what you are wearing to work. A Pilates class is typically about 55 minutes of mental focus that is refreshing and stimulates the brain." Are pilates a major part of your life? What do you consider to be the benefits?  

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