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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.



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.

Click here to find a Pilates class in your area.

Do you go to Pilates classes? Do you find them beneficial? Love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

  • I don’t go to Pilates classes as such but do some Pilates moves and exercises when I can. I think its good to have a varied workout.

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  • I have one or two Pilates moves in my repertoire, but I’m mostly a yoga devotee. I discovered this late in life too, in my early 40s after an arthritis diagnosis, but it’s great. All ages all level of fitness

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  • One of my friend does pilates and been telling me that I should learn to. I am been thinking ……Thanks for sharing the information.

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  • good to read

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  • great to read

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  • I had back problem from earlier n in life which resulted in surgery, as a result i have never done anything strenuous, except giving birth, and my muscles in my back and mr core muscles were practically non existent. I have been doing pilates for 4 months now and the extreme difference it has made is outstanding, i’m so strong now and all my friends have notices how much my waist has shrunk and my butt has lifted. Its not a physically intense process, its quite soft and controlled but afterwards you feel like you have been at the gym lifting weights. best thing i ever did for myself, which i did it sooner.

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  • I have friends that swear by pilates. I’m not sure I’d have enough balance.

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  • Thanks for your article, I really didn’t know what pilates really was to know whether it was suitable for me or not. I did aerobics as a teenager, but for years, nothing. As my health has deteriorated I can manage gentle stretching, general housework, and running around after the kids. Certainly not any form of high intensity exercise.

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  • thank you i have done pilates before at home although I find I loss motivation training at home

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  • I’ve just been enjoying Yoga for the past 6 months after many years of wanting to, but not doing it! I’m just loving it. I was not totally sure about Pilates or what it actually is, so this has been really helpful. I feel it’s not unlike what we’ve been doing in yoga, really. Not too sure when it comes to comparison.

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  • I love my pilates class. And the good thing is you can do it at any age and fitness level.


    • Very true; it is an accessible exercise for all levels of fitness.

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  • I love Pilates and go every week. It has helped strengthen my back which is great for carrying the kids. I also have some quiet me time whilst I’m doing it.


    • I love that you do it regularly and get some good ‘me time’. Thanks for sharing!

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  • I have never….and I mean NEVER truly exercised. Ive walked and ridden an exercise bike but never exercised as in yoga or pilates…Im over weight and always feel so intimidated.


    • Thank you for sharing :) It can be intimidating to try new things, but it’s worth it! If you’re not sure, you could always try a DVD at home, or speak to your gym’s pilates instructor before the class. It’s a great exercise no matter your fitness level, because you can do the class at your own level and pace. Plus if you get there early you can claim your spot at the back of the class and then no one else will be able to watch you :) I’ve had women in my classes in their 70s doing pilates, and women who have never exercised before too. When you enjoy it and keep coming back, that’s what inspires me to keep going as a trainer.

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  • I love teaching pilates as well for all of the above reasons. It truly is a wellbeing class – allowing participates to slow down, breath and stretch, while working those core muscles. Great article

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  • I love Pilates & it is the only form of exercise I have looked forward to after having twins :) It’s really helped my core

    Reply

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