Exploring and adding different exercises and classes to your workout program can prevent you from getting bored with your routine! Pilates can be a refreshing addition to your workout as it can make you stronger and leaner, while helping you get centered and destress.
Pilates is a series of exercises both stretching and strengthening. These exercises will improve your posture, flexibility, balance, and mind/body awareness. Mat Pilates specifically is great because it requires no equipment and teaches you how to use your body to perform these exercises.
As a beginner, I suggest starting Pilates in group class, rather than at home watching a YouTube “how-to” video. When searching for group classes in your area, look for “Mat Pilates” (or Traditional Mat Pilates). Mat Pilates is a great way to begin because it traditionally requires no equipment (besides an exercise mat) and uses simple body weight.
All mat exercises have beginner through advanced stages. Between you and the instructor, you will find the stage for each exercise that works best for you and then you can progress as you feel comfortable. Having the instructor assist you with form is an added benefit to learning to work with your body that you don’t have when trying this at home.
Pilates have some great benefits including strengthening the core, promoting muscular endurance and flexibility, and improving spine strength. You will eventually find yourself paying more attention to your posture and breathing. I use it when I’m running or walking, or even sitting at the computer! My posture has never been better! I have actually had people admire how tall I stand!
Please check out our group fitness schedule for available Mat Pilates classes. If you’re around Wednesdays at 11am come to my class and I would be more than happy to help you introduce Pilates into your exercise regimen.
– Dodi, Exercise Physiologist at Dedham Health