“Pilates is a great way to gain the body awareness and core stability needed to safely take part in the activities we love.“
As we discussed in a recent blog post, one of the most effective ways to combat post-workout muscle soreness is by introducing your body to different types of exercise on a regular basis…
…and if you ask us, Pilates is a perfect place to start!
Although there is no one-size-fits-all exercise that everyone enjoys and that is accessible to all people, Pilates is a great way to gain the body awareness and core stability needed to safely take part in the activities you love.
Pilates (both with and without equipment) is a type of exercise with a strong focus on core strength and stability. Pilates is also proven to improve overall functional ability. A study conducted by the University of Sydney, Australia  revealed that “Pilates exercise offers greater improvements in pain and functional ability compared to usual care and physical activity in the short term” and “offers equivalent improvements to massage therapy and other forms of exercise.”
Like most forms of exercise, Pilates has been shown to increase overall physiological and psychological wellbeing in a number of studies. The Institute of Movement and Sport Gerontology in Cologne, Germany  found that Pilates improved muscle strength, balance, endurance, flexibility, gait, and physical functioning as well as the quality of life, depression, sleep quality, fear of falling, pain, and health perception in older adults.
Just about any exercise is good exercise. After all, one of our favourite sayings is, “movement is medicine.” So, what sets Pilates apart from other forms of exercise?
It’s the focus on core strength and overall stability that gives Pilates a unique edge.
Most of us know that core stability is important, but we aren’t always told why core stability matters and how it can benefit us in our everyday activities. Here are some of the many ways that core strength and stability can benefit us in our day-to-day lives.
Core strength is a major contributor to good posture. Working from home has become the norm for many of us over the past couple of years. While it has its perks (home-cooked meals for lunch, anyone?), not everyone has an ergonomically ideal office setup at home – and sitting for hours on end with less-than-ideal posture can lead to unnecessary aches and pains. While we don’t all have the space to create a home office, anyone can work to improve core strength and posture to prevent those pesky aches and pains. Pilates is an excellent way to gain the core strength required to maintain an ideal posture with ease!
Balance is a key component of injury prevention in many of the activities we love. Whether it’s hiking, walking, running, climbing, cycling, skiing, swimming or skating, core stability is an essential part of keeping us balanced while taking part in the activities we love. While we often think of our legs and arms as the powerhouse behind the activities we love, all of these movements stem from the core.
That’s why the maintenance of core strength, and the balance that comes with it, plays an essential role in injury prevention.
Pilates also improves control of pelvic floor muscles. Part of core strength is the often-overlooked pelvic floor. When the pelvic floor muscles are not functioning properly, symptoms such as incontinence, pelvic pain, constipation, low back pain and painful intercourse can arise. While there are a number of contributing factors to pelvic floor dysfunction, a study conducted by the University of Winchester, UK  showed that Pilates exercises are effective in controlling pelvic floor muscles, which is an effective way to prevent severe pelvic floor dysfunction.
Want to learn more about how Pilates can help strengthen your core and support you in doing the activities you love? Stay tuned for future posts on the blog or book a Clinical Pilates session today!