The Ultimate Low-Impact Workout: Why Women of All Ages Love Pilates
Women’s bodies undergo various changes, both physical and hormonal, that can affect their overall health and wellbeing. Regular exercise becomes increasingly important to maintain our physical fitness, strength, and flexibility.
Pilates is a form of exercise that focuses on building strength, flexibility, and endurance through controlled movements and breathing. Women, in particular, have found Pilates to be an excellent way to stay in shape and maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you are a woman who has been hesitant about trying Pilates for the first time, this blog post is for you!
What is Pilates?
Pilates is a form of exercise that focuses on building core strength, flexibility, and endurance through controlled movements and breathing. It was developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century and has gained widespread popularity in recent years as a highly effective form of exercise for people of all ages and fitness levels. A method inspired by gymnastics, martial arts, boxing and yoga, it is loved by celebrities, sports stars and us mere mortals for a huge variety of reasons, including stronger glutes, and better mental health.
And why is Pilates so good for women?
1. Improves core strength
As women age, their core muscles can weaken, which can lead to poor posture, back pain, and an increased risk of injury. Pilates focuses on strengthening the core muscles, including the abdominal muscles, back muscles, and pelvic floor muscles. By building core strength, benefits include improving posture, reducing back pain, and preventing injury.
2. Increases flexibility
As we go through life, our joints can become stiff and less flexible, which can lead to decreased mobility and increased risk of injury. Pilates emphasises controlled movements and stretching, which can help improve flexibility and joint mobility. This can help maintain an active lifestyle and reduce risk of injury.
3. Manages hormonal changes
From our first period, through our menstrual cycle, post birth and into menopause, our hormone levels change, which can lead to a range of symptoms, including mood changes, and as we age, decreased bone density. Pilates has been shown to help manage these symptoms by reducing stress, improving mood, and increasing bone density. Regular Pilates practice can help women maintain their overall health and wellbeing, as well as keeping the pelvic floor healthy.
4. Reduces stress and anxiety
Stress and anxiety are common issues that many women face as they juggle work, family, and other responsibilities. Pilates focuses on controlled breathing, which can help reduce stress and anxiety. Diaphragmatic breathing is practised in Pilates and has been shown to reduce stress. By focusing on the Pilates principles, being in the present moment and releasing tension, as well as using the breathing techniques, women can improve their mental and emotional wellbeing.
5. Improves balance and coordination
As women age, their balance and coordination can decline, which can increase their risk of falls and other injuries. Pilates includes exercises that focus on balance and coordination, such as standing on one leg or performing movements on unstable surfaces. These exercises and practice become more important as we age and our joints become less stable so getting the Pilates in place early will only benefit us.
6. Low-impact exercise
Many women may be hesitant to try new exercises due to the fear of injury or pain. Pilates is a low-impact form of exercise, which means it is gentle on the joints and muscles. This makes it an excellent choice for all women who may have pre-existing conditions or injuries, or are pregnant or post natal.
7. Provides a social environment
Pilates classes are often held in a group setting, which provides a social environment, either online or face to face, to meet new people and possibly even make friends. This can be especially beneficial for women who may feel isolated or lonely, or are suffering with injury. A weekly or bi weekly dose of Pilates and familiar faces can be good, not only for the body, but also the soul.
8. Improves overall health
Regular Pilates practice can improve overall health and wellbeing; it can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. It can also help maintain a healthy weight, improve sleep, and boost energy levels. And who doesn’t need more help with that?!
In conclusion, Pilates is an excellent form of exercise for women of all ages and fitness levels. It's gentle on the body, improves posture, relieves stress, and is a social activity. You just need to find the right class and teacher for you.
Give it a try, and you may be surprised at how much you enjoy it and the benefits it can provide! Raise Pilates provides first class online and in person classes and one to ones in Kingston, Surbiton and the surrounds.