Body

Gemma McCaw's 6 reasons why you should take up Pilates

Pilates can benefit both your body and your mind and best of all, it's suitable for all fitness levels.

By: Gemma McCaw

Until recently, I'd never stepped inside a Pilates studio. But after hearing about all the amazing benefits, I decided to give it a go and now I'm a total convert.

I really urge everyone to give it a try, no matter what age, stage or fitness level. It's a form of exercise that's easy on the back, gentle on joints and great for core strength. The merging of physical awareness and mental energy means it's great for stress reduction too. After incorporating it into my weekly routine, the difference, both physically and mentally, has been amazing.

Who knew such subtle exercises could burn so much! So take a leap and feel the power of Pilates.

Quality of form over quantity of repetitions

Pilates is gentle on the body and doesn't focus on how many reps you can bust out per minute. With a big emphasis on proper breathing, you can concentrate on quality technique while maximising power and efficiency.

Ease back pain

A strong core will mean less back pain. We are now more sedentary than ever, often spending large quantities of time hunched over a computer screen. Good posture can mean our spine and its natural curves are supported. Pilates focuses on stabilising the lower back region and aligning the pelvis, alleviating stress and enhancing your mobility.

Improve your balance

Pilates improves balance, which can deteriorate as muscles weaken. By working the small stabilising muscles, it helps you control your body when you walk and supports your spine. Its focus on slow, controlled movements means an increased flexibility and range of motion for the joints.

Sync your body and breath

In Pilates, getting your body and breath in sync is important. The fluid, steady movements quieten your mind and this means you don't have time to worry about work, bills or family.

It's a full hour to indulge in you. Each session will leave you feeling refreshed, calm and rejuvenated.

One exercise fits all experience levels

The best thing about Pilates is that it's designed to benefit everyone. A workout can be modified to an individual's needs, from absolute beginners to the more experienced. It's even great for those who are recovering from an injury as exercises can be adapted without adding extra stress to the body.

Tone your abs

Pilates is a sure-fire way to activate your abs and increase your core strength – the powerhouse of your body. By focusing your attention on the deeper muscles, it helps improve posture and prevents injuries in daily life.