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Beginners Guide to Pilates

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Beginners Guide to Pilates

If your fitness friend isn’t into yoga, it’s likely you have heard them going on and on about Pilates. They tell you all about how they bend this way and that. They work out their core muscles with difficult movements. They always talk about how hard it is. But worst of all, they’ve been trying to get you into it as well! With all of your fitness friend’s chatter, you admit you’re a little frightened. You don’t have any idea what any of the movements are or whether you should even get into it. As a beginner, it sounds daunting. Fear not! Snack Less has looked into Pilates for you. Read on to find out more about this exercise. Maybe you and your fitness friend can share a fruit bar or some gum on the way to your classes.

  1. What is Pilates?
  2. What are the benefits?
  3. How Can I Get Started?
  4. Risks?

What is Pilates?

The Pilates Method is a form of exercise created by Joseph Pilates. It began as a rehabilitation exercise for injured soldiers and dancers when Pilates was confined to internment camps in the UK during World War I. It focuses on posture, balance and flexibility. It shares many similarities with yoga, especially due to its emphasis on the mind-body connection. The difference between Pilates and yoga is that Pilates specifically works to strengthen the core muscles. It’s principal ideology is to improve overall health and vitality. Despite its beginnings as a method for dancers and soldiers, the exercise can be modified to fit just about anyone.

The main focus of Pilates is to strengthen the core muscles. By strengthening the core, the rest of the body will be realigned. It creates stability throughout the entire body. It’s especially good for helping back pain by implementing exercises that help support and align the spine. Many of the Pilates movements don’t require any equipment. It’s all about precise, controlled movement and breathing. However, there is reformer Pilates which uses a resistance machine called a reformer to provide added tension to exercises. Many Pilates classes offer it as the premier class compared to one without it. Both versions of Pilates offer the same kind of strength training, and therefore, health benefits.

Man exercising on the beach

What are the Benefits?

The first thing to understand is that Pilates is not the most effective at weight loss.You burn less calories in a Pilates class than doing cardio. However, regular Pilates classes can help maintain a healthy lifestyle. It does help with weight loss for those who were not doing any exercise at all, and improves body strength. As said previously, Pilates has also shown to be promising in back pain management. Pilates also improves posture and balance, much like yoga.

 Combining Pilates with other exercises such as running or walking, can help with weight loss. Pilates is also known for toning the body. While you may find that you don’t lose as much weight, you’ll tone your muscles. Remember that eating a healthy diet made up of whole foods, fruits and vegetables is just as important as exercising. In fact, consuming less calories is more important than more exercise. According to research, we compensate for the calories we burn by eating more. Therefore, watching what you eat and focusing on calorie count will help you lose weight alongside exercising. Luckily, you already know the secret to snacking less, right?

How Can I Get Started?

If you’re interested in entering into the world of Pilates, there’s tons of resources. The best way to start is by joining a class. Find a local gym or studio that has Pilates classes and get more information on which classes work for you. If classes are not possible, there are still ways to get started. You can begin by purchasing the necessary equipment. All you need is a mat and yourself. You don’t need a reformer machine, especially not as a beginner.

Start by planning which days you will do your workout and how much time you have. You should try to incorporate thirty minutes three to four times a week. If that isn’t feasible, you can always try for short fifteen minute routines throughout the week. Finding time to exercise is very important for your overall health and fitness. If you’re having a hard time with that, here’s a few tips.

Once you’ve narrowed down your schedule, look for some beginner Pilates resources. You might be able to find some classes on YouTube or check out this 30 day beginner’s program by Very Well Fit. There are tons of ways you can get into Pilates, you just have to do a little research and get to work.

woman in a white room doing a plank

Risks?

Whenever you start a new exercise, you should be aware of any risks associated with it. If you have any medical issues that would make exercise difficult, consult your doctor and ask him if you can begin Pilates. Pilates is a low-impact exercise, and therefore excellent for those who can’t do high-impact. That said, there are still some risks associated with the exercise. As with any routine, you need to know how to do the movements well. This means, performing them with the correct form so as not to injure yourself. Instructors have even weighed in on some routines of Pilates and say that certain precautions need to be made. If a movement causes pain, you should not continue to it. That’s the easiest way to prevent injury.

For the most part, however, current research indicates that Pilates is mostly safe. Though there are certain people who would not benefit, such as those with severe spinal problems, most healthy individuals would see an improvement in their lives.

person stretching on a pink mat

Find Your Healthy Routine

If you’re interested in getting into Pilates, go for it! Getting up and moving the body is one of the best ways to get into the healthy mindset. Once you start one healthy habit, you’ll want to change the rest of your lifestyle accordingly. Soon, you’ll be incorporating fruits and veggies into your meals. You’ll know exactly what foods you want to eat and avoid. Most of all, you’ll know exactly how to stop snacking so much. We’ll always be right in your pocket to help you on that endeavor.

When you start on one part of your fitness journey, the rest will come along as well. Whether your goal is weight loss or simply to feel better about yourself, it’s the best thing to do. Whether it’s Pilates or some other exercise routine, you’ll figure it out. We’ll be here for you every step of the way. So, get to work! A new, healthier you, is just around the corner.