Beat the Winter Blues with Pilates

When it’s cold outside it’s easy to find an excuse to stay lazy and hide under blankets all day, but that means calling it quits on your New Year’s resolutions for being a healthier you. Instead, try heating up your core in one of our cozy Pilates studios — fulfilling your fitness goals while staying warm and toasty.

Start your New Year’s resolutions right by incorporating Pilates into your weekly routine. Pilates is nearly a century old practice that is focused around core strengthening, body alignment, and muscle balance. The results are unique to other workout practices because of the focus on proper posture alignment and balancing your muscles, targeting the psoas and diaphragm. In addition to leaner and longer bodies, Pilates practitioners have straighter postures in their daily life, resulting in reduced back and hip pain. Still not convinced? Here are seven enticing reasons to start Pilates now:

1) Pilates is phenomenal for your core.

In Pilates, we call the core the powerhouse.  The powerhouse is the group of abdominal muscles starting with the diaphragm on top, the pelvic floor on the bottom and the psoas, transverse, and obliques in between.  All Pilates exercises are focused on strengthening and balancing these muscles, resulting in a stronger, more flexible spine. A stronger core means better balance and improves overall muscle agility. Once your powerhouse is strong, your overall performance in any physical activity will improve dramatically, even if it’s just walking up the stairs. 

2) Pilates increases flexibility.

For everyone who thinks Pilates isn’t right for them because they aren’t flexible, they are absolutely wrong, and should be doing Pilates. Pilates makes you more flexible. Yes, the first few classes will be difficult, but you can only improve from there.  Once your diaphragm and psoas get flexible, the rest of the body follows.
3) Pilates is not hard on your joints.

Unlike many forms of high-impact exercises, Pilates does not take a huge toll on your ankles and knees. Though there is still cardio involved, it has minimal impact on joints and is perfect for people with weak joints, or people who wish to keep their joints strong.

4) Pilates eases lower back pain.

By focusing on properly strengthening and stabilizing the lower abs and the psoas, the back stops doing all the work and can balance out with the lower abs to support the lumbar spine. Practitioners with chronic lower back pain often boast of rapid and life changing pain relief.

5) Pilates classes are a good workout.

It’s easy to go to the gym and put minimal effort into a good workout, but when an instructor is motivating you, and you are surrounded by people putting in the effort, it’s difficult not to get a good workout in. Modifications are encouraged, and people can still move at their own pace, but the classroom setting makes the sweat and soreness fun and rewarding.

6) Pilates is versatile.

Pilates is perfect for all ages and fitness goals. It has minimal impact on joints, requires little equipment and can be performed everywhere. Once you are familiar with the exercises, you can take your practice home with you, at a park, or on a sandy beach. Pilates increases overall agility, balance, flexibility, strength and coordination — key components for any physical activity or sport. It is for anyone, anywhere with any goal. 

7) Pilates is a stress relief.

Pilates requires the utmost mental concentration to perfect the specific muscle movements, forcing life’s stressors out with every focused, mindful breath.