I discovered the benefits of Pilates a bit later on in life and I really wish that I had come across it earlier, which is why I wanted to share what I know about it with you.
I’ve done all sorts of classes over the years, from the aerobics of the 80’s to the popular HIIT (high intensity interval training) type workouts of today. I have discovered what works well, and what doesn’t, from years of practice and working with hundreds – if not thousands – of women of all ages.
My personal favourite type of resistance training for strength and body toning is using Resist It Bands, but the best partner to go with this is definitely Pilates.
So what is Pilates? It’s a type of exercise that concentrates on using your core muscles.
Your core muscles include all your abdominal muscles as well as the muscles in your pelvic floor and around your hips and back.
Pilates involves concentrating on the muscles you are working, engaging your core and breathing correctly. You also need to be lengthening and stretching out your body.
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- The diet to slow the ageing process
- Back, arms, legs, core…but don’t forget your pelvic floor!
What’s so great about Pilates?
Pilates is so great for women because it’s beneficial no matter your age or stage of life.
I love teaching Pilates and seeing women gain core strength like they have never had before. I’ve had everyday women in my classes close to 70 years of age doing one minute planks (and laughing while they’re doing it!).
And as you can read about and no doubt hear about, strengthening your pelvic floor muscles is super beneficial to help you prepare for labour and recovery after the birth of your baby.
As well as creating a strong core (which leads to flatter stomach muscles), I truly believe Pilates helps to keep your hormones balanced. Over many years of experience, I have seen this to be true. Women of all ages with hormonal issues have benefited from doing regular Pilates exercises.
Pilates also helps keep you centered. We all lead busy lives, so slowing down and concentrating while you do Pilates helps reduce stress and tension, and also helps you gain better control of your emotions. Who doesn’t want some of that!
And one more benefit – Pilates helps you to improve your flexibility. If you have any lower back problems, Pilates can help improve them too.
As with any exercise, make sure you check with your doctor if you have recently had a baby or have any medical conditions that could affect you exercising.
Finding an instructor
When you are looking for a Pilates instructor, make sure they are fully qualified and feel free to ask for a free trial to see if you like the class. I haven’t been to a gym yet where I haven’t been able to do some classes for free as a trial – you just have to ask.
You can also find some workouts on YouTube, but once again be careful that the instructor is qualified. There are plenty of DVDs available too if you would prefer to do Pilates at home.
Do you go to Pilates classes? Do you find them beneficial? Love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.