Pilates Incredible Health Benefits

Before and after Pilates

Hats off to you Joseph Pilates, 1883 developing my favorite kind of exercise, and I am not alone in my thoughts. One hundred years before my birth day a kind of workout that strengthens your body and mind was created. I have to admit I just feel incredible after completing any kind of Pilates workout. Whether it be 30 min long or a whole hour. Somewhere in the middle of it it tests my patience and strength of mind, legs wobbling, sweat dripping at moments equals a wonderful sense of satisfaction once its completed. Being that its so nice on your joints is why I dove head in. I took a class back when I was at Saddleback College and enjoyed my hour classes each Monday and Wednesday. My professor taught strength and flexibility with the Pilates. My body was incredible at the end of that semester. Flat abs, booty popping, posture high, and confidence soaring. I vowed myself to continue on with the exercise after the class, I did, for about a month then I widdled off the wagon.

A little about myself and my abilities. I injured my Left hip in March of 2011, the head of my hip bone (Femur, near the neck) has extra bone that protrudes, if I happen to shift my leg in a wrong position my head of my femur will rub on my hip bone causing a tear in my labrum. The bone fragments float in the hip joint and cause excruciating pain, unable to sit, stand, stretch. Took me three months to semi heal. They wanted to do arthroscopic surgery, I refused. I have had this problem at lease once a year since I was in HS, only this time I finally knew what was causing the problem. I realized I needed to limit some movements in my hip when it hurt and when it was okay to only move it until it hurt and not ever push it further. Daily doses of Omega-3 1200mg and I am excellent now. (Almost a year later) Once my hip was better I bought an elliptical, I needed cardio in my life, wanted to drop a few pounds. I was pretty animate on working out on the elliptical 5 days a week. Worked nicely because it kept my body in alignment which I needed so badly. After a recent move, the elliptical is still in storage and I needed to workout. I got back on the Pilates train.

I have to modify movements that cause me to suspend only my left leg up or twisting in in movements. Two of my favorite DVD's of Pilates that have to do no modifications to is "Crunch- Super Slim Down Pilates Yoga Blend" AND "Pick Your Level Weight Loss Pilates". You can stream these two from Netflix whenever and as many times as you want. I feel awesome after each workout. I feel as if my mind and body really did get a workout. The best part of this for me is since I'm not sooo sore the next day, the kind of sore that limits you from regular movements or even my most hated, being unable to sit on the toilet or sit down in general. Pilates makes you feel good. Will you feel your muscles the next day? Yes, but its that good feel, the hey I worked out but I can still do my day to day activities without moaning and groaning that I worked out.

Muscles need time to recover when you have over done it. Our muscles are composed of Actin and Myosin filaments, they together are our muscles, when you over do it you actually break off the heads of the myosin and your muscles need time to heal since you ripped your muscles apart. Not the best way to work out. You spend more time trying to heal then actually making progress. The thing I like best about Pilates is if you want to its safe enough to workout each day with it. I prefer the every other day method though and I try to incorporate cardiovascular exercise in on the OFF Pilates days.

Now onto The Incredible Health Benefits of Pilates:
Centering, Control, Flow, Breath, Precision, and Concentration:

1. Body Awareness- Its an easy thing to say, but how many of you are actually aware of your body? Do you know when you should push on or when you should call it quits? What about the most difficult thing for me to continue to remind myself of, posture, yeah that thing your doing right now while you slough and read. (trying to straighten as I type, oops back to slouching, so dang difficult!) Being aware of your own body is empowering, Pilates can give that to you.

2. A stronger Core- Now this will simply not happen overnight, especially if you have a large quantity of fatty tissue covering your abdomen. But with consistency Pilates will make you mentally feel better inturn motivating you to also incorporate walking the dog more often or parking further from the front door of stores, or to walk at a faster pace to get that cardio in. Pilates foundation is the core, a strong core allows for better posture. Try this, slouch in the mirror. See how your belly pooches out? Ugly right? Now try this, stand up super straight in the mirror, don't push your butt back and don't shove your chest forward, roll your shoulders up and down, long neck, face held high. Now honestly which one looks better? Tummy goes in and you really loose 10 pounds visually with better posture. A stronger core is the first step.

3. Body Control- Being aware and able to control your body is HUGE! That can hover right over being able to calm anxiety, depression, and moods. Breathing techniques and being able to control your body puts you back in power. Who doesn't want control and power of yourself. In order to truly achieve what you wish you must first know what your capable of accomplishing.

Pilates is a form of active meditation, you have moves you want to do, you have to concentrate your breath and position to follow through the movements. I find this true, you really have to keen in on yourself to have proper form, proper breath and in doing so you feel better about yourself. Pilates creates long lean muscles, not bulk, increased flexibility and strength, better balance and coordination, a strong stable core, improved posture, increased range of motion, improved bone density and joint health, reduced back pain and weakness resulting in better sleep and overall well-being.

"In 10 sessions you will feel the difference, in 20 sessions you will see the difference, and in 30 you will have a new body" Joseph Pilates

Beginners and advanced exercise enthusiasts can give Pilates a try, always consider speaking with your physician if you have questions or concerns of any ailments or injuries you might have to see if you will be safe starting Pilates. But for me my range of motion in my hip has gotten increasingly better, my outlook on myself and my body has changed and I just feel all around happy every time I have finished a session. Go ahead and try out the Incredible Health Benefits of Pilates.

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