Flashback to 2009 when I was trying to get back to a fitness routine after a long break. I had tried out a number of things by then from yoga to aerobics to partially utilizing a very expensive gym membership. Nothing seemed to stick and that’s when my research led me to Pilates. It seemed to offer everything that I wanted to personally achieve to get fit.
I took me almost a year before I found a qualified Pilates instructor in my vicinity. A few months later after having practiced Pilates, I was convinced enough to undergo certification and open my own studio to make it more accessible to everyone.
With the rise in health awareness, people want a higher quality of health, vitality and stress relief. They are looking for an exercise option that fits those needs while helping them achieve their individual fitness goals.
Pilates as an exercise option is on the rise and has been ranked consistently in the fitness trends since the last 20 years.
But what is it about an exercise form that is nearly 100 years old and still continues to be popular?
Today Pilates is synonymous with flat abs and core strength. Along with making you fitter, it also helps in improving posture; so not only does it make you look good, it also helps you look taller and more confident.
Pilates with its versatility is a winner to suit today’s busy lifestyles. We often have women ages 14-55 working out together in one batch since it works for every body. Owing to the focus on core strengthening it also blends well across other exercise forms like cross fit, running, dancing and yoga.
The additional focus on precision, control and breathing also helps bring a meditative quality to the exercise. The one hour that you workout is just about you, your body and state of mind- nothing else! The other significant benefit that attracts people to Pilates is how it helps tone and create long, lean muscles without the bulk. The fact that you can go about your daily lives without feeling like you went through a grinder to burn 300 calories is cherry on the cake.
Pilates exercises are performed in a smooth, continuous motion, the quality of each movement is more important than the number of repetitions performed.
With the importance on technique, the exercises can be easily modified across a section of fitness levels from cross fitters to marathon runners.
From accommodating people who are looking at rehabilitating from injuries to increasing endurance for athletes looking at getting an extra edge on their performance, everyone can benefit from it.
Joseph Pilates was a man ahead of his time. He designed over 600 exercises that can continue to challenge you on co-ordination, strength and control. So unlike other exercise forms where you eventually hit a plateau, Pilates continuously helps you discover and improve areas of fitness over decades of practice. Golfers will specially understand the thrill of perfecting a sport over a number of years!
As more and more people discover that they should be working out for the needs of their own personal health goals and not like would-be athletes, Pilates will continue to climb in popularity.
About the Author:
Taru Chaddha is founder of Red Mat Pilates, a Gurgaon based Pilates & fitness Company. She is STOTT Pilates certified trainer and teaches mat as well as equipment based Pilates (Reformer, Chair, Cadillac, Ladder Barrel).