What is pilates? There's more to pilates than developing "strong abs" or "core strength". Pilates is an exercise system that focuses on stretching and strengthening the whole body to improve balance, muscle-strength, flexibility and posture. It was created by German-born Joseph Pilates in the early 1900s and incorporates elements of yoga, martial arts and Western forms of exercise.
What are the health benefits of pilates? Pilates can help improve posture, muscle tone and flexibility, core strength and joint mobility, as well as relieve stress and tension. Pilates exercise can “support weight loss and give a more streamlined appearance”. If you want to lose weight you should combine pilates with a healthy diet and some aerobic activities, such as swimming, walking and cycling.
Am I too old for pilates? No. Pilates is suitable for people of all ages. It’s never too late to start! We can devise a programme of exercises tailored to the individual. With older adults, we tend to work on balance, posture, co-ordination and breathing and offer more gentle exercises to work on their weaknesses and improve their mobility.
Do I have to be fit to do pilates? No. Pilates is suitable for people of all levels of fitness. Practitioners say it's a more gentle way of raising your activity levels, especially if you have poor mobility, aches and pains or an injury.
What’s the difference between pilates and yoga? Both pilates and yoga focus on developing strength, balance, flexibility, posture and good breathing technique. With its emphasis on the unity between the mind and body, yoga has a more spiritual side that pilates does not. The main components of yoga are postures (a series of movements designed to increase the strength and flexibility of the whole body) and breathing. Pilates also uses breathing, but its exercises focus much more on precise movements to target specific parts of the body.
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