Life moves fast. Our culture values speed and busyness and with the whirlwind going on around us, it can be hard to prioritize health…especially exercise. That’s why I do Pilates. Not for a bunch of soul-centered reasons, like some may think, but in truth because I heard celebrities talk about it to get and maintain their amazing bodies. But the reason I’ve stuck with Pilates is because I have seen so many amazing and positive effects for my body as a result. When I fist started Pilates, I quickly began to notice several changes including:
- I felt stronger and more toned than ever before.
- My chronic joint and muscle pain disappeared.
- I looked way better in pictures because, for the first time ever, I had the body awareness to hold myself with functional, attractive posture.
- I had more energy and slept like a rock.
I also started noticing results I didn’t expect at all:
- I was more confident and more comfortable in my own skin. My mental fog transformed into consistent clarity and it became much easier for me to focus and be productive.
- I was handling life better. I stopped taking everything so seriously, including myself. For the first time in my life, I gave myself a break and nixed the self-defeating mental chatter that I had used in the past to convince myself I wasn’t good enough…ever. (See ya!)
- I didn’t feel like my body was “wrong” anymore and I no longer felt like “her” and I were constantly battling. I found out “she” was pretty cool and worth appreciating.
- My dark cloud of stress and anxiety parted.
And, drumroll please…
- I actually looked forward to my workouts! For real.
Fast forward to today: Pilates continues to play a huge role in my life.
Throughout my 10+ years of instructing, I’ve seen thousands of women transform their bodies and their lives using these forms of exercise.
Pilates continues to be one of my best tools for feeling great and excited about my life. When you practice Pilates, you get so much bang for your buck! So, without further ado, here are my top four reasons pilates is worth your precious time:
#1: It’s extremely effective and, therefore, efficient.
Pilates promotes quality movement (over speed or quantity). You’ll notice the sensation of working your body from the inside out. Meaning: deep internal muscles get activated, not just superficial ones. You’re not just going through a workout to get it done, but instead, you’re doing your best to make the most of each exercise and make the most of the experience, in its entirety.
In other words, you’re mindful of the process and, therefore, the “journey” (a.k.a. your workout) becomes more enjoyable.
Pilates is also a highly functional form of movement. You’re not simply burning calories and toning up, but you’re also promoting body awareness, practicing how to hold yourself in proper alignment and lengthening and strengthening in ways that will reduce and eliminate pain.
It’s grounded in simple, yet powerful, principles that will yield results far beyond the standard sit-up. Pilates is a full-body, quality over quantity, form of movement that will rock your world.
Yes, you can do Pilates on expensive, fancy equipment such as a Reformer or a Cadillac and, that can be really fun. However, you absolutely don’t need that equipment to do Pilates or to benefit from it. All you need is a mat. Scratch that…a floor.
When I first started doing Pilates over 14 years ago, I didn’t have a mat; I didn’t even use a towel. I lied on the carpet of my messy living room and, guess what? It still worked.
Nowadays, I have a few nice mats and a small, very inexpensive, very easy-to-store, “at-home gym”…a.k.a. corner of a room that I keep a mat, some weights, a stability ball and a few other apparatuses. Fancy? Nope. Effective? Absolutely.
Whether I’m traveling or at home, I can always find a space to do Pilates; sometimes I even bring my mat outside to workout. Occasionally I’ll clean up my space, light some candles and create a beautiful environment in my home or hotel for my Pilates practice, but other times, all I do is move stuff out of the way so there’s enough space on the floor for my mat. Pristine environments can be heavenly for practicing Pilates, but they’re definitely not required.
My point: if you have a clear area large enough for you to lie down, you have everything you need to for an awesome Pilates workout!
Related: Postpartum Pilates Core Workout
#3: Your Pilates awareness (and all the other benefits that come from this form of exercise) will follow you off the mat.
Although Pilates is one of the best ways to slim down and tone up, it also delivers countless other benefits that you’ll begin noticing throughout your entire day.
You’ll be sitting at your desk and you’ll realize you want to straighten up and hold yourself with strong posture. You’ll think, “What? Where did that come from?!” You’ll be washing dishes and feel your lower back beginning to bug you, and remember to support your back by engaging your abdominal muscles. You’ll realize deep breaths are necessary when things are stressful at work.
Now, suddenly, you’ll be practicing Pilates—slimming down, toning up and feeling better—throughout your entire day, even when you don’t have time to actually roll out your mat.
#4: It’s not only good for your body, it’s also good for your mind.
When you practice Pilates, not only will your body benefit in multiple ways, but your mind and spirit will as well. Pilates will calm your mind, intensify your focus and elevate your spirit. Joseph Pilates once said, “How can we have world peace? Not one man in the United Nations can do my first five exercises!”
He believed strongly that his form of exercise can help a person effectively deal with stress. The less we are each individually operating in “urgent mode”, the more apt we are to exhibit compassion, tap into brilliant ideas and live our lives with a sense of security and fulfillment.
Pilates is the perfect solutions for busy, on-the-go women looking to experience real change and see results. Ready to give it a try? Try our free 10 Minute Pilates For Abs Workout!