So many of Hollywood’s hottest stars rave about its benefits. You can’t walk into a gym without seeing classes. But what is pilates, anyway?
Pilates is actually named for a man named Joseph Pilates. Around 1914, Pilates was a performer and a boxer, living in England. During the outbreak of WWI, Pilates was held in a German prison camp, where he taught a health system, based on yoga, Zen philosophy, and a number of exercises taken from the Romans and the Greeks. This health system helped the prisoners to fight off illness and maintain their strength.
The system that Joseph Pilates taught the prisoners was the start of the current pilates movement. This modern version of the workout is a series of exercises that improve strength and flexibility through a series of stretching and balancing exercises.
Chiropractors often recommend pilates as a way to strengthen the back and spine. After some time using the pilates system, an individual can typically expect to notice an increased mobility in the joints, improved circulation, a flatter stomach, and thinner waist and thighs. Typically, those most attracted to the system of workout are dancers, as dance requires a great deal of flexibility and agility as well as strength, all of which the pilates system provides. It is also said that pilates strengthens the body from the inside out, helps to relieve stress and anxiety, and can even aid in the prevention of injury.
Because it is a low impact routine, pilates is very attractive to those needing rehabilitation from injury, the eldery, and the overweight. It increases circulation and reduces weight gradually. Because of this, many women choose pilates after having a baby in order to shed the post-pregnancy pounds.
No matter what the reason for choosing the workout, pilates is fast becoming one of hottest workout trends, and one of the easiest to adapt to all ages and lifestyles. But like any workout regimen, a person should consult their physician before starting. There may be limitations you may not be aware of, and above all other benefits that a workout may bring, your health should be considered above all else.