10 Benefits of Pilates

Sharing is caring!

If you’ve met me, followed me on social media, or spent more than three minutes with me (or any Pilates instructor), I’ve probably told you to do Pilates and given you one reason or another to tap into Pilates’ advantages and health benefits. 

So what is Pilates?

You have probably heard of it and have a general idea, but may not know exactly what it is. Pilates is a mind-body exercise invented by Joseph Pilates that focuses on working the body evenly to not overdevelop any muscles, but instead focuses on small muscles. Pilates focuses on the core (the abdominals and back), the powerhouse of the body. Pilates can be done on an apparatus called the Pilates reformer or on a mat. 

The health benefits of Pilates are immense, and you only have to do Pilates a few days a week for 20 minutes to reap those benefits. Pilates gives you a huge return on investment. And what’s better than investing in your health?

Jillian travel and wellness influencer demonstrating a pilates plank

Here are the top 10 benefits of Pilates 

1. Core Strength 

Keeping your core strong is important for the health of your body, and no exercise does that better than Pilates. People think of their core as the 8-pack superficial abdominal muscles, but it’s so much more than that. Your core is also composed of the muscles on the side of the body and the back body. Pilates works all these muscles evenly to keep you strong and fit. 

2. Reduced Back Pain

Pilates helps alleviate back pain. The best way to relieve back pain is to gain strength. Since Pilates is focused on the core, it strengthens the deep layers of muscles that wrap around the spine. When your core is strong, it supports your spine, which helps with disc issues, nerve pain, and countless other common back problems. Pilates has the advantage of working on mobilization of the spine, which will also help back pain and low back pain. In a good Pilates class, the instructor will move the spine through all ranges of motion.

3. Better Balance 

Balance and stability become increasingly important as we age. Another advantage of Pilates is that it helps with balance by activating the deeper muscles of the core. Keeping the core and trunk of the body strong helps your overall balance. Pilates corrects imbalances in the body and strengthens the body starting from the ground up, at the feet. Pilates incorporates functional fitness which helps with the activities of daily living, like getting up out of a chair and tying your shoes.  

Jillian travel and wellness influencer doing pilates

4. Improved Coordination

Any exercise will help with coordination, but Pilates’ focus on precision will offer even more health benefits. The more coordinated you are, the easier your body will move and the less likely you are to, for example, fall.  An advantage of being coordinated is that it helps with not just your daily life, but activities such as sports and crocheting.

5. A Mind-Body Connection 

Pilates improves your mind-body connection, which is the way the brain and the body work together. Your mind-body connection influences how you feel and think, both physically and mentally, and it will benefit from Pilates and help your overall wellness. The mind-body connection benefit from Pilates helps you deal with stress and anxiety, and it regulates your emotions and life. 

6. Improved Posture

A major advantage of Pilates is that it will strengthen your core, back, and shoulders. This is the best way to combat what I like to call “Netflix posture.” In our society, so much of our day is hunched over a desk, phone, or tablet that poor posture is becoming all too common. Proper posture makes you look taller and leaner. Another health benefit from good posture is improved digestion. 

Jillian travel and wellness influencer stretching which is one of the benefits of pilates

7. Better Breathing

Pilates focuses on breathing, and it is one of the guiding principles in Pilates. Breathing exercises offer the health benefits of increasing oxygen levels, increasing mindfulness, decreasing stress, lowering your blood pressure, as well as the advantages of supporting digestion and regulating your nervous system. Learning how to breathe properly (inhaling in through the nose)  is imperative to your health. If you want to learn more about breathing, you should check out Breathe by James Nester. 

8. Improved Flexibility and Mobility

Another health benefit of Pilates is that it incorporates lots of stretching and mobility into the practice. Flexibility is important for everyone. Because Pilates is a well-rounded exercise, it will benefit all your muscles and joints without leaving any body part out, moving them through a full range of motion. Athletes tend to tighten up from sports. Seniors lose flexibility with age. Pilates is a great way to incorporate stretching into your routine. Click here to see what those movements are and how you can do them at home.

9. Increased Body Awareness

Pilates increases your body awareness. Sure, all exercise does that, to an extent. One of the principles of Pilates is concentration, which teaches and improves your control over your muscles. The more body awareness you have, the better your proprioception (where our body is located in space). This, like balance, is an important skill as we age. Body awareness helps with our coordination and understanding where we are in space, with the health benefit of reducing clumsy behavior such as tripping and walking into things. Body awareness also helps aid in our mind-body connection, like feeling stress and tension in your shoulders or feeling sick in your stomach when a situation is uncomfortable. This helps protect you and makes you aware of your surroundings. 

Jillian travel and wellness influencer demonstrating a pilates plank

10. Great Complementary Workout

Unlike some other kinds of workouts, Pilates has the advantage of being a great complement to any kind of workout. Adding it into your weekly workout regime just a few days a week will help balance out your workouts. If you would like to read more about balancing out your workouts, read about high vs. low intensity workouts here. 

Pilates is a great exercise for all levels and ages. If you want to read more about Why every BODY needs Pilates click here

Similar Posts