Many people are aware that regular Pilates practice has advantageous health benefits, and there is extensive research to prove it. Pilates does not target specific parts of the body to exercise, but rather views the whole self as one fully connected entity. As a result, Sheppard Method Pilates’ strength-building movement practice can benefit everything from physical rehabilitation needs, to improving your physique, boosting your emotional wellness, immunity and sickness prevention, internal organ functionality, and overall mental health.

Are you ready to enjoy the countless health benefits of a regular Pilates practice? Contact the Westwood Pilates instructors at Sheppard Method Pilates to discuss how we can help you get started. Schedule your first class now!

Pilates is Backed by Science

Like other categories of exercise, there is ample scientific evidence that Pilates practice is good for your physical and mental health. Unlike some physically extensive athletics such as running, weightlifting, and cycling, however, there is little potential harm to the body with Pilates. Additionally, Pilates is accessible to even non-athletes or those with what would otherwise have considered limitations. In Pilates, there is no risk or limitation for the health benefits you can procure. The unique marriage of internal awareness and physical training make Pilates perfect for those of any age, gender, or athletic experience.

Leading Physical Health Benefits from Practicing Pilates

Health is not mutually exclusive with being a specific size, running marathon miles, or even lifting a certain amount of weight. While these measurable targets often assist in accomplishing exercise goals, whole-body health is so much more than just reaching a numeric target.

Regular Pilates practice is ideal for increasing several dimensions of physical health because it is more than just an exercise regimen. While any movement routine can help with weight regulation, fat loss, and muscle gain, Pilates also allows you to achieve:

  • Improved posture: A poor posture can cascade into several different health issues, including back pain, imbalanced muscles, risk of injury, sleep issues, poor coordination, headaches, and even diminished immunity. Pilates focuses on spine awareness and regards spinal health as the center of self. Regular Pilates practice therefore optimizes spinal health and mobility to improve overall posture.
  • A stronger core: In Pilates, your core is more than just visible abdominal muscles. Referred as the “powerhouse” of the body, the core is essential for dynamic movement, and all Pilates exercises work to strengthen and stabilize these vital muscle groups.
  • Hormonal balance: A dysregulated endocrine system cannot adequately release and manage hormones necessary for proper bodily functionality. From sleep cycles to menstrual pain, and even effects such as muscle loss and fatigue, a balanced hormonal system is vital. Research has proven that Pilates can help to balance a dysregulated endocrine system and regulate hormones.
  • Increased energy: Through both hormone regulation and encouraging healthier sleep patterns, Pilates can, in turn, increase your energy to help you get through a busy, productive day without experiencing that dreaded afternoon slump.
  • Increased flexibility: Flexibility is often considered a separate metric when measuring health, however, it is key in maintaining body functionality and preventing injury. Flexibility helps with posture, back pain, blood circulation, and joint health. As we age, our flexibility decreases, running risk of arthritis and decreased mobility. It is essential to continuously work on flexibility to maintain our ability to perform regular activities and alleviate any pain and discomfort.
  • Injury prevention through cross-training: Pilates was originally developed as a rehabilitation program for ballet dancers’ intense training. Now, athletes of all types have turned to Pilates for the same reason. Through slow, intentional movements that focus on core strength, flexibility, and breathing, Pilates is an excellent practice to incorporate on active rest days, or when recovering from an injury.
  • Immunity boosting: Because Pilates activates the core, it also activates the body’s immunity center known as the gut. Additionally, Pilates practice boosts lymph movement throughout the body through better breathing patterns and blood circulation. The connection between stress and low immunity is also scientifically linked, and because Pilates alleviates hormonal, physical, and emotional stress, a boost in immunity is often a result.
  • An improved sex life: Pilates centers awareness and strengthening of the body’s powerhouse, therefore also strengthens the pelvic floor. This consequentially increases sexual enjoyment, particularly in women. Through hormonal regulation and stress relief, the body also responds with an increased libido. Additionally, flexibility, stamina, and confidence boosts can intensify your overall enjoyment in the bedroom!
  • Increased bone strength: Especially in aging adults and women in particular, loss of bone density can be detrimental to overall health. You can also be prone to severe injury with weak bones, and the chances of experiencing a fall increases with poor coordination and balance. Luckily, Pilates has proven to strengthen bone health by improving muscle strength, coordination and balance, as well as provide overall pain relief.
  • Stress tension relief: Stress does not only exist in our minds—we hold onto stress hormones that settle into our muscles, causing tension and pain. Working in conjunction with improved breathing and hormone regulation, Pilates movements help to release any stress and tension to the muscles, akin to a good massage. Because Pilates is more than just passive stretching, the fascial release techniques liberate stress from both your body and mind.

Pilates and Mental Health Benefits

In addition to the countless physical health benefits of Pilates, mental and emotional health is also increased when practicing regularly. Numerous studies on the correlation between Pilates and the alleviation of anxiety and depression have been published and discussed. This is because Pilates focuses not just on singular movements, but holistic, full-body awareness, marrying movements of the body with breathing exercises and emotional awareness, and sense of calm. Because Pilates views the body as a connected, whole self, it is impossible to divorce one area of the body, mind, or spirit from another. This awareness, in turn, helps to:

  • Treat anxiety and depression
  • Decrease in overall stress
  • Improve cognitive function and focus
  • Improve sleep
  • Boost your mood
  • Heighten self-confidence
  • Increase motivation in all areas of your life

Get Started with Sheppard Method Pilates of Westwood

Whether you are long-time Pilates devotee or are just starting to entertain the idea of trying Pilates out, Sheppard Method Pilates of Westwood can help you target your individual needs and boost your overall physical and mental health. Through conscious awareness of the numerous health benefits a regular Pilates practice can serve you, there is no ceiling for what you can accomplish or how good you can feel in your body.

Take Charge of your Mental and Physical Health with Sheppard Method Pilates

Call the Westwood Pilates instructors at Sheppard Method Pilates to discuss how we can help you include Pilates in your exercise regimen and enjoy the countless scientifically-proven mental and physical health benefits. Schedule with us today!