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The Fitness Zone

The benefits of Pilates for your mind, body and spirit
May 5, 2011 | by

Have you ever asked yourself how do I become a Pilates instructor? If you're reading this now, then chances are you're considering this as a career. Pilates is a great foundation from which to add on other more strenuous forms of exercise, providing flexibility and strength that can help buffer your body against the negative effects of harsh exercise like running or heavy weight training.

Pilates helps build strength and long lean muscles. Many athletes and celebrities incorporate Pilates into their fitness regime to help sculpt a lean and strong physique.

Pilates has many benefits for mind, body and spirit. On the physical level, you can expect to see improvements in posture and flexibility while building up the core' or powerhouse', those deep muscles that wrap around the abdominal area and back. Over time you will notice inner peace and quiet strength from it. If you don't believe me, then try it for yourself!

Elements of yoga and tai-chi are evident in the breathing techniques used in some of the Pilates mat exercises and if done correctly, can alleviate stress, reduce tension and help us to develop awareness of our bodies. The founder of Pilates, Joseph Pilates said Even if you follow no other instructions, learn to breathe correctly.

Pilates brings about an awareness of your body, especially in the core abdominal area. Through mastering the techniques of each exercise together with the breathing, the core is strengthened resulting in better posture and decreases in back and shoulder pain.

Don't be fooled into thinking it's an easy form of exercise. It can be more difficult than intense cardio workouts or weight training you'll discover muscles you never knew existed!

About

Jen is a Fitness Coach at the Australian Institute of Fitness NSW.

This content is not intended to be used as individual health or fitness advice divorced from that imparted by medical, health or fitness professionals. Medical clearance should always be sought before commencing an exercise regime. The Institute and the authors do no take any responsibility for accident or injury caused as a result of this information.

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