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How pilates can help your overall health

Pilates is an exercise method that aims at maintaining an optimal balance of flexibility and strength in the abdomen (both front and back), hips and shoulders by using precise body movements that work with the breath and spinal alignment.

Pilates was originally developed by Joseph Pilates in the early to mid 1900s and has continued to be advanced to reach the approach that we use today. Pilates is used and shows great benefits throughout all stages of life whether you are the avid exercise fanatic, recovering from an injury, pregnant or an active growing teenager.

Throughout pregnancy there are many amazing body adaptations that occur that allow the foetus to grow and develop and prepare the body for labour. Some of these changes include the increase in hormones that allow ligaments to become more lax as well as changes in weight distribution throughout the spine and pelvis due to your growing belly. Pilates can be modified for any stage of pregnancy and helps strengthen the core and pelvic floor muscles, which is important throughout the pregnancy in equipping your body to better cope with these changes, preparing for labour and improving post pregnancy recovery and decreasing likelihood of incontinence during and post pregnancy. As your centre of gravity changes through pregnancy you may start to feel more clumsy or off balance. Not only will Pilates help strengthen in your core and help stabilise your body but exercises performed help the body become more aware of where it is in space, therefore feeling more balanced and less likely to have those little knocks and bumps.

Adolescents’ bodies and minds are often under a lot of stress with their busy lifestyles, including; school pressures, poor posture due to screen time, developing bodies and sporting activities to name just a few. Teenagers can benefit greatly from Pilates as this exercise method increases flexibility, co-ordination, balance and endurance, and increases body awareness. With the increase in this strength, balance, co-ordination and flexibility there is a decreased likelihood of injury on these growing bodies, which will set them up for the best start in their sporting achievements, whether that be Cricket, Football, Netball or Running. Pilates also provides teenagers with a space to identify and use their breath which is great for re-oxygenating and energising their bodies as well as providing an environment for them to be mindful and present, which they can then apply to their every day life.

The balance between strength, balance and flexibility that is developed through Pilates is vital for the individual who is recovering from an injury but also sets up an activity or sporting individual to get the most out of their sport and life, and prevent injury from occurring.

At Flourish Chiropractic and Wellbeing we provide intimate mat Pilates classes of up for four people, developed to the individual’s goals and bodies’ requirements. Before joining one of the intimate classes we perform an initial assessment, addressing your individual goals and take you through techniques to recruit key muscles involved with stabilising the spine and how to work with your breath.