Good health is the secret of a happy life. It is not the absence of physical ailment, but also a state free of mental distress. Good health, however, does not come overnight. There are certain things that should be included in one’s lifestyle to improve overall health. Individuals who want to be fit and healthy should engage in physical activities like Pilates. This fitness regimen has gained popularity because it can be done by anyone at any level of fitness.

Pilates is an exercise method that was developed by German boxer Joseph Pilates in the 1920’s. It focuses on slow, controlled movements, smooth breathing, and concentration. There are over 500 exercises that were developed by Pilates. “Classical” exercises involve several principles which include concentration, flowing movement, and breathing. Other new training exercises are derived from the classical form and were designed to make exercises more accessible to different individuals.

Flexibility, strength, and improved core muscles are the primary health objectives and benefits of Pilates. The core muscles include many different muscles that balances the abdominals, spine, pelvis, and shoulders. These muscles are critical in controlling movements, transferring energy, and shifting body weight and movement in any direction. A strong core is necessary to distribute the stress of weight-bearing and support the back.

Individuals who have limited movements or those whose ailments limit them to wheelchairs and other contraptions may still engage in Pilates training. This exercise method promotes a sense of physical and mental well-being which may lead to inner physical awareness. Pilates also strengthens and lengthens the muscles without developing additional bulk. This exercise is beneficial for dancers, athletes, and other individuals who don’t want more bulk. Pilates may also aid individuals who want to prevent or are rehabilitating from injuries and are essential in improving posture, circulation, and balance. In addition to its health benefits, pregnant women who engage in Pilates training may develop improved body alignment, enhanced concentration, and improve body shape after pregnancy. According to Joseph Pilates, people who engage in Pilates will feel better in 10 sessions, look better in 20 sessions, and have a completely new body in 30 sessions. Pilates training are usually done slowly and carefully to promote movements that are smooth and flowing and ends with light stretching and cool down period.

Other health benefits of Pilates may include the following:

Look and feel better
Get stronger, more flexible, balance and become less prone to injury
Target and tone problem areas
Develop abs, butts, thighs, and arms
Repair sports injuries
Experience moments of relaxation

Pilates training appeals to a wide population because of the various health benefits it may bring. Becoming involved in this exercise program may change the way individuals think about their body, exercise, and overall well-being. Despite its health benefits Pilates training should not be used as a substitute for physical therapy. Lastly individuals who want to engage in this kind of training should seek the approval of doctors and other health specialists. People with chronic injuries and other health conditions may not be able to practice Pilates. Physical activities like Pilates, coupled with nutritious diet may lead to good health and improved overall well-being.