Pilates: a holistic health programme for mind and body

Pilates Awareness

Sport fitness woman stretching outdoors with arms raised overhead

Pilates supports your wellbeing, in terms of both your mind and body. It has been a popular and valued exercise for people from all walks of life since it was brought to the UK in 1970.

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The gentle, non-strenuous strength-building techniques bring multiple benefits in terms of core stability, joint strength and muscular development. However, the benefits of Pilates reach far beyond the physical; increasingly, people are turning to this powerful and effective exercise programme in order to realise enhanced mental health and improved stress management.

Nurture the body, to strengthen the mind

Pilates, similarly to Yoga, combines a physical workout with relaxation techniques. By approaching health holistically, Pilates students gain an enhanced level of relaxation which contributes to wide-reaching mental health improvements. In the first instance, regular Pilates sessions support the individual to take ‘time out’ from the daily grind. They provide a way of focusing upon the self without interruption or distraction.

In an increasingly hectic world, where we are bombarded by stimulation at all times through social media, frenetic work schedules and parenting challenges, it’s critical that we isolate some time for ourselves. Committing to a regular Pilates session affords the opportunity to relax and unwind, and concentrate solely upon physical movement, thereby promoting mental health. Lateral breathing concentrates the mind on specific areas, enabling absolute focus.

Pilates can stimulate Serotonin

It has been proven that regular exercise promotes feel-good chemicals within the body. Serotonin, which is the chemical responsible for elevated mood and the enhanced ability to smile, helps ward off infection and manage stress. This is an essential by-product of any exercise.

Pilates, through its ability to concentrate energy upon specific parts of the body, affords an element of mindfulness which further boosts mental wellbeing and stress-management capabilities. By relaxing and calming the inner monologue, we are better able to release stress triggers and gain an improved sense of perspective on current issues affecting our lives.

In addition to the immediate benefits of a Pilates session, there are proven long-term benefits associated with regular sessions too. Sustained improvements in fitness, suppleness and flexibility guard against the development of physical illnesses such as osteoporosis and muscular strain. Coupled with the life-enhancing benefits of exercise and relaxation in elevating immune responses to potential diseases, Pilates really can help maximise your health and wellbeing overall.

Leveraging the power of a holistic exercise programme

Pilates is one of the most beneficial exercise programmes when it comes to multiple outcomes spanning both mental and physical health. Pilates provides you with an invaluable opportunity to escape daily stresses, to improve your resilience and coping strategies and a chance to lift your mood. Your body, core strength and joints will all become better toned and healthier also. With so many attributes, it’s unsurprising that Pilates is one of the most widely-attended forms of exercise class in the UK, Australia and the USA.

If you would like to learn about how the Pilates Foundry can help you develop a holistic health programme for your mind and body, we invite you to get in touch. You can contact us by email.

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About the Author

Trish is one half of husband and wife team, Trish & Ryan Soper-Powell. Together they own and run The Pilates Foundry. She is dedicated to helping you Stop Your Body Cheating On You with Pilates and Wellness.