Pilates – How does it work and what are the benefits?
Our day-to-day lives involve a large amount of time sitting down, being inactive. This unfortunately can lead to a variety of different health problems, ranging from issues such a bad posture and minor aches, to more severe cases such as risk of obesity or heart disease.
Research now indicates that the average office worker spends between four and nine hours each day sitting at their desk. This adds up to two months every year, which has obvious knock-on effects to your physical and mental health
How does Pilates help you?
Pilates is a form of mind-body exercise with a multitude of proven health benefits. It is a discipline that truly is for everyone, regardless of age, gender, ability or current fitness levels. Below is a breakdown of the key improvements that can be experienced from doing Pilates.
Increases core strength
Improving your core strength through Pilates can significantly reduce pain to your back and hips. To understand why, think of the body’s core as the physical control centre, where all moving parts stem from. When the core is strong and pliable it can support and stabilise the rest of the body with greater ease. If the core isn’t utilised enough, naturally it becomes weaker, easily tired and therefore will not be able to provide the support and strength the opposing muscles need to function effectively.
By incorporating bodyweight exercises into your Pilates classes, you can build up these core muscles, which in turn will reduce the pain you experience in your back and hips.
Your posture is something that can have more of an effect on your body than you may realise. When you have bad posture, your muscles shorten and imbalance your entire body. This can cause side effects such as headaches, or shoulder and back pain.
When you improve your posture, your muscles will function optimally which as a result, will completely improve the way you move. Pilates focuses on maintaining a good range of motion around each joint, which helps improve the weaker areas of your body. Establishing these weaker areas of your body means you can focus on exercises and stretches that will help strengthen them, which in turn will improve your overall posture! These exercises can be adapted for any ability level.
Boosts your mood
It has been proven that individuals who take Pilates classes (whether its 1-2-1 with an instructor, or in a group environment) have seen a significant reduction in anxiety levels, fatigue and symptoms of depression. This is a result of the natural ‘feel-good’ endorphins that are released by the brain during the sessions.
To add to this, the aspect of concentration which is needed when taking part in a Pilates class means that your mind is able to completely focus on the movements and exercises, blocking out the stresses of day-to-day life. Concentration is one of the six pillars of Pilates (Breath, Concentration, Control, Precision, Centre and Flow) so by mastering this aspect you will see an overall improvement in your sessions.
At Sopwell House, we offer a range of Pilates classes for you to try. If this sounds like something you would benefit from, please contact our Spa reception team to get booked on.
Below are the dates of our Pilates classes. We look forward to welcoming you!
Pilates – 15:00 – 16:00
Pilates on the Ball – 09:30 – 10:15
Pilates – 14:15 – 15:15
Pilates on the Ball – 17:45 – 18:30
Pilates on the Ball – 10:15 – 11:00
Pilates – 09:15 – 10:00
Pilates – 13:15 – 14:15
Pilates – 11:15 – 12:15