Updated: Oct 22, 2021
Today we are going to figure out what Pilates is and how it relates to every day life!
What is Pilates?
Pilates is a series of exercises that brings strength, flexibility, and balance back to the body.
It will help you gain strength where you are weak.
It will help you gain flexibility where you are tight.
It will bring you back into balance.
All of these things will be able to help you do life better*.
Practicing Pilates will help you with every day tasks such as:
Getting out of bed
Getting up from a chair
Opening a jar of pickles (or jelly or whatever you love)
Walking up or down stairs without knee pain
Picking up your baby (or grand-baby or fur baby ) without back pain
Starting your lawnmower (or maintaining your yard/flower beds/vegetable garden)
Walking on uneven surfaces (because let's face it - the roads and sidewalks in the US aren't the best)
Maintaining your balance while walking on ice or snow (pending your climate - as I write this, I think we have 20" of snow minimum)
Practicing Pilates is an excellent add-on to your current movement practices.
Running & Cycling - both utilize specific muscles. Pilates helps strengthen the weaker muscles and loosen the muscles that may be overworking during your run or ride.
Hiking - increased balance from Pilates helps you walk over uneven surfaces. Increased core strength can also help you climb up steep courses.
Weight lifting - typically loading weight to increase strength in certain areas of the body. Again, Pilates will help balance out the body [because small muscles need love, too] and will increase flexibility in the muscles that are being "loaded".
Competitive or Community Sports teams (football, basketball, soccer, volleyball, swimming, etc) - strength, flexibility, balance, agility - all needed to perform your best. I was a 3 sport athlete in high school and college and couldn't touch my toes because my low back and hamstrings were too tight. I wished I'd been introduced to Pilates 20 years ago.
To sum up: Pilates is a series of exercises that brings strength, flexibility, and balance back to the body to help you do life better!
It doesn't matter how old you are when you start! Living better has no age limit.
*Pretty sure I've heard this elsewhere, so I am not taking credit for this gem!
Picture shown: "Backstroke" - during Reformer on the Mat class