We all acknowledge the benefits of exercise and know that regular exercise helps to maintain a healthy weight, boost energy levels, and improve overall health. Whenever we think of exercise, the first thing that springs to mind is high-intensity activities like cycling, aerobics, running, and sports, but it may surprise you to learn that there is no need to adopt an intense routine in order to reach your fitness goals. One of the best ways to incorporate exercise into your routine – with specific health benefits for women – is Pilates. Health and fitness writer Emily Bartels tells us more about the benefits of Pilates.
The Pilates method has been around for many years. Dancers mainly use this exercise to strengthen their bodies and avoid injuries and bulk-building in the muscles. Pilates is an exercise which mainly focuses on breathing, alignment, and movement flow for improving flexibility, balance, coordination, building core strength, and developing control and endurance in the body. To follow the routines, initially, it is best to join a class, as the risk of getting injured or performing the exercise incorrectly is greatly reduced. When a person plans to incorporate Pilates into their routine, it is important that they enlist the best service providers available to them.
The 6 Benefits of Pilates
Pilates is an exercise which is particularly beneficial for women. It can be performed simply and safely at any age, in a fitness studio, or from your home, provided you learn to practice the exercises safely. With the help of Pilates exercise, you can experience the benefits of stronger hips, improved flexibility, and abdominal muscles. Here are six reasons why every woman should try this exercise:
1. Back Pain Alleviation
Pilates is useful in alleviating back pain, as it helps strengthen muscles. If the lumbar-pelvic region becomes increasingly stronger and more flexible, this can reduce the stress on that sphere. Pilates is an exercise which is known for helping to tone the core muscles. If you are performing the exercise regularly, then you can reduce the existing pain in your back or spine. The only requirement is that you are consistent with these activities, otherwise you won’t be able to achieve your goal.
2. Improves Coordination
Yoga is one of the best-known solutions for coordination and to focus your mind, but Pilates also fits into this exercise category. It enables you to ensure that mind, body, and breath are working together, and is beneficial in improving coordination.
3. Lose Fat
A common reason that people turn to exercise is to burn fat, and Pilates exercises are an effective way of burning fat quickly. Using the appropriate equipment – including exercise mats, weights, rings, and balls – will help you perform the exercises safely and correctly. The best moves to integrate into your routine to burn fat are plan jacks, crisscross, and heel ups, which each work your core and midsection.
4. Enhance Mental Power
Pilates can have a positive impact on memory and other cognitive functions, which is why it is commonly referred to as ‘the thinking man’s exercise’. Adopting the exercise for 10 weeks can improve the brain’s alpha peak power.
5. Better Posture
Poor posture can be a leading cause of upper back pain, and regular Pilates exercises can help to combat this by improving your posture. If you perform this exercise with the right technique, you can quickly improve the balance and alignment of your spine. You require coordination with breath for this exercise as it leads to the expansion of your diaphragm. When you expand your diaphragm continuously, then it becomes easier to straighten your spine and improve your posture. While performing this exercise you experience stretching of the shoulders, and you will also see an improvement in your posture.
6. Enhance Sports Performance
Pilates is not only useful in strengthening the core muscles, but it is also beneficial in improving balance. Increased strength helps you perform harder exercises such as push-ups, squats, and pull-ups, which require a strong core.
Where to Practice Pilates in Hong Kong
Pilates is an exercise that is useful in meeting your wellness and fitness goals, so stop questioning whether it is right for you or not and incorporate this exercise into your routine now. Here are several studios in Hong Kong that offer the practice.
Flex Studio, 3/F-4/F Man Cheung Building, 15-17 Wyndham Street, Central, (+852) 3468 3132
Unit 308-310, 3/F, One Island South, 2 Heung Yip Road, Wong Chuk Hang, (+852) 2813 2212
H-Kore, 3/F, 39 Des Voeux Road Central, Central, (+852) 2441 9000
12/F, Dorset House, Taikoo Place, 979 King’s Road, Quarry Bay, (+852) 3107 1144
Options Studio, 12/F, 16 Wyndham Street, Central, (+852) 3188 8112
One Pilates Studio, 12/F, Shiu Fung Hong Building, 239-241 Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan, (+852) 6907 7311
Anhao Wellness, 1/F & 4/F, Sunny Sky Centre, 5 Ladder Street, Mid-Levels, (+852) 6397 8284
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