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THE BASICS OF PILATES

by Out and About Mag.

Pilates is a major fitness trend that many of us are itching to try out. Still then, why are we all so doubtful about it? — it’s because we’re unaware of what it involves. Some think this workout is similar to yoga. While that’s partly true, the two exercises have distinct differences, and some of them, we’re discussing later.

So if you’re interested to know more about Pilates, keep reading. Also, we’ve tried to highlight why Pilates is the chosen workout for people who are constantly on-the-go.

WHAT IS PILATES?

Pilates is an exercise form which involves and focuses on body strengthening workouts with building core strength as its main goal. By doing this, the fitness technique can help improve your overall health and well-being.

Pilates also focuses on balance, posture and flexibility. It teaches you to concentrate and learn how to connect your body and mind while doing exercises that require you to give emphasis to the manner of your body’s movement and breath. As it is not a high-impact exercise, it will easily suit seniors or those with mobility issues. In short, you do not have to worry about the chances of an injury because it is a low- impact workout that fits even beginners in fitness training. So no matter your goals are — weight loss, function improvement or overall health — you might want to check out a class nearby and try Pilates for yourself to find out if it’s for you.

DIFFERENCES AND SIMILARITIES BETWEEN YOGA AND PILATES

YOGA — The main purpose of yoga is to unite the body, mind and spirit. Instructors teach their students to view their body and mind as one single unit.
This form of workout is also characterised by different poses, not movements, unlike with other types of exercises. Typically, these poses are done on a mat with one’s body (not weights) used as the exercise resistance. Every pose requires great focus and fluidity for going in and out in case of yoga. Each pose is designed for a specific purpose or need.

Yoga can help in developing your flexibility and improving your overall mobility as well. It is also preferred by those who want to get rid of stress — one of the main reasons due to which many take up yoga classes.

The technique can help in healing your mind and body and finding mental harmony. This emphasis on mental health is what makes it one of the best therapeutic activities for people of all fitness levels.

PILATES — In addition to the mind, Pilates works out the entire body. This workout focuses on core strength and makes you stronger inside out. Pilates works the centre
 of the body, increasing your awareness to work from your core to achieve a healthy body.
 As time goes by, fitness seekers who are into Pilates become stronger and develop leaner muscles.

MIND AND BODY CONNECTION

Both workouts establish a connection between the body and the mind. However, yoga is more relaxing and focuses more on the spiritual well-being of a person. It concentrates on working your mind and develops your breathing techniques, thereby reducing stress.

On the other hand, Pilates emphasises body strengthening and toning. It is a traditional physical exercise routine, which was initially designed for helping injured athletes.
When it comes to the methodology involved, yoga’s centre is the mind-and-body connection. So it doesn’t involve any machinery. It just makes use of the body as the resistance.

In Pilates, you will typically incorporate certain body- challenging equipment to control both the body positioning and muscles in an unstable environment.

PILATES WHEN TRAVELLING

Both yoga and Pilates are ideal workouts for those who want to achieve great health, develop balance, reduce stress and connect the body and mind.
However, Pilates has been surfacing as a favourite go-to exercise by many, not just because it’s easy to do, but also because it’s a good option for the frequent traveller. With Pilates, you can stay fit while on the road and when travelling from one place to another for business or job requirements.

EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENT

One of the things that make Pilates even more appealing is that it doesn’t require any equipment to do its fitness routine. However, investing in some can help you pick better exercises under the Pilates umbrella.

While there are a few optional equipment requirements, they’re not hard to bring on a flight, because some of them are portable.
When travelling, bring an exercise or Pilates ring. They will hardly take up any space. If you do have magic circles, you can take small ones with you that can target specific muscle groups.

In addition, you can also bring a Pilates mat. But be sure that it is easy to roll up, lightweight and thin. Alternatively, you might want to use a hotel towel if you didn’t carry a mat with you when travelling.

TRAINING MATERIAL — TUTORIALS, DVDs AND APPS

A reason that Pilates is a great travel workout is that it’s easy to find tutorials and apps to exercise with, even when you are in your hotel room. Additionally, it’s now easy to take an online class in the technique from anywhere in the world.

MASTERING NEW TECHNIQUES

Even if you’re a beginner, you can easily learn one or two Pilates techniques. There are mobile-friendly workouts that you can find online. Alternatively, you can print out some easy-to-do mat exercises or write down some routines before travelling. Once you mastered beginner techniques, you can pick more challenging workouts.

SUMMING UP

Take full advantage of Pilates anywhere you go — bring some magic circles or bands and a mat to experience its total core strengthening and body-mind benefits. You can do this exercise regime while travelling and without a bulky reformer or an instructor.

So if you’re ready to begin a low impact and core- strengthening workout, find a nearby Pilates class today and reap the benefits of this fantastic exercise for yourself!

 

 

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