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7 reasons to do pilates

There’s one activity that will make you feel relaxed, elated and seriously fit. And it’s not what you think, you filthy lot. Get the lowdown on why you should take up pilates.

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If you’re anything like me, life is pretty much spent stooped over a desk or taxiing kids around. And when I do find time for me, often it involves a bottle of wine and a Netflix series.

But there’s one activity that will make you feel relaxed, elated and in seriously fit shape. And it’s not what you think, you filthy lot. Pilates isn’t just for celebrities – or the dancers on Strictly. Amber over at Muddy Surrey spoke to pilates specialist Sara Rounce, co-chair of The Guild for Pregnancy and Postnatal Exercise Instructors and founder of The Wellwoman Fitness Foundation, to get the lowdown on why you should take it up….

Three women sitting on the exercising mat and doing abdominal exercises. [url=http://www.istockphoto.com/search/lightbox/9786738][img]http://dl.dropbox.com/u/40117171/group.jpg[/img][/url] [url=http://www.istockphoto.com/search/lightbox/9786766][img]http://dl.dropbox.com/u/40117171/sport.jpg[/img][/url]

1. Gives you a more balanced body

Pilates is a complex form of exercises focussing on strength and mobility and works every muscle group in the body. It is slow and controlled enabling you to increase your self awareness and maintain symmetry and therefore iron out muscular or alignment imbalances working towards creating a balanced body.

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2. Great for relieving stress and feeling energised yet relaxed

Pilates helps you focus the mind on your body and therefore switching off to all other external distractions. The exercises often involve lots of concentration to help you forget what else you had on your mind. The breathing technique helps to relieve mental stress as well as physical tension and relaxes the body yet making you feel energised at the same time.

Woman working out with an exercise ball

3. Makes you taller 

Your posture will improve no end and with all the stretching and movements in Pilates. You will come out of your session feeling an inch taller! Working to improve your posture whether you are an athlete or an office worker, the exercises develop strength in the key areas of the body to prevent slouching.

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4. Improves your fitness 

Not only will you get a great core and amazing abs the rest of the body will become toned too. In the same way as weight training Pilates uses the whole body weight as resistance so more calories are burned and metabolism is increased.

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5. Reduces Back Pain

By strengthening the core and working on the alignment the whole body can transformed and often these small but important changes can take away back pain in an instant. Joseph Pilates believed that poor posture and poor health were often linked.

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6. Great through pregnancy and beyond

During these times the body changes a great deal. By keeping a strong core and properly functioning pelvic floor the body has the right tools for supporting the baby and the mother through pregnancy, birth and beyond. Postnatal recovery benefits greatly from exercises used in Pilates and works on regaining correct posture, strength and mobility. A great way to ease back into exercise and can be done with baby by your side! Specific issues can also be addressed such as pelvic floor dysfunction and diastasis recti (tummy separation).

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7. Stay stronger and supple for longer

By maintaining bone strength and mobility of the whole body Pilates is an ideal form of exercise for those wishing to stay fit at all ages including later life. Pilates helps with balance and coordination as well as relieving stiffness and tension. Coming to a class is a nice way to meet others too.

thewellwomanfitnessfoundation.co.uk

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