Top 5 Benefits of Pilates Mat Exercise
Pilates exercise is a worldwide phenomenon, popular among the general public as well as elite athletes. The simple reason is that Pilates works like no other fitness method. Here are the top five benefits of this amazing technique.
No Equipment. Pilates mat exercise utilizes your own body for resistance. This back-to-basics kind of exercise is now the top fitness trend according to a recent survey from the American College of Sports Medicine.
Pilates mat exercise is one of the few fitness methods that uses your own body for resistance. This freedom from any equipment or a gym means that you can do it anywhere and anytime – perfect for our increasingly mobile lifestyle!
Mat exercises are the original Pilates workout. Interestingly, the special equipment that you find in Pilates studios was first created by Joseph Pilates for people who could not do the mat exercises due to disability, illness, or injury. This is not a criticism of Pilates machines or any other kind of exercise equipment, but if you want a fabulous workout free of equipment, the Pilates mat routine is for you!
Big Breathing. Joseph Pilates emphasized breathing, and each Pilates mat exercise has a breathing pattern. Big, expansive breath combined with precise, controlled, and fluid movement results in a truly invigorating experience. You feel energized after a Pilates workout rather than exhausted!
A Complete Workout. According to fitness research the body needs three distinct kinds of exercise – strength training, stretching, and cardio-vascular conditioning (better known as aerobic exercise). You need all of these exercises, because any one of them alone will not keep you healthy.
The reason for this is that starting at about age 30, both men and women begin to lose muscle tissue all over the body. You need strength training to restore muscle tissue. Aerobics and stretching won’t do this. On the other hand, you need cardio for heart health which stretching and strength training can’t deliver. And finally, you need stretching for flexibility and – yes, you guessed it – strength training and cardio don’t do this.
Fitness methods that combine all three of these exercises are referred to as complete exercise techniques. Pilates mat exercise at the advanced level is not only a complete method, but one of only a few exercise methods that do this.
Healthy Joints. There are no harsh movements in Pilates. This prevents harm to your joints. Movement is controlled, precise, and fluid. This kind of joint-healthy movement means that Pilates is exercise that you can do for the rest of your life! You can’t say this for many of the exercises that we love to do such as running and hiking to name just a few which cause wear and tear on our joints.
Relief for Most Back Problems. Nearly 100 years ago Pilates discovered that by strengthening the muscles around the center of your body – popularly known as core muscles – most back problems disappear. Today doctors agree that most back problems are better served by exercise rather than surgery or medication. This is one reason I refer to Joseph Pilates as the Einstein of fitness. His exercises and principles of core strength are widely used by physical therapists and trainers worldwide.
Now that you know the fantastic benefits of Pilates exercise, it’s time to try it. Pilates will change your life!