5 Reasons Everyone Should Try Pilates (Even If You Think It's Not For You)

Have an injury? Does chronic pain or illness make it hard for you to exercise? Feel like you don't have a lot of time with your busy schedule? Want to build core strength and long lean muscles? Ready to see your body transform right before your eyes? Pilates is your golden ticket!

Originally invented for men and athletes in the early 1920's, people around the globe are experiencing the lifelong benefits of Joseph Pilates' vision and how it can change your body and life forever. Here are five reasons you should try it, even if you're not sure it's for you.

1. Prevent injuries.

Injuries can leave us incapacitated for weeks, months ... even years. But what if we could use exercise as a way to prevent injuries rather than cause them?

Pilates focuses on your core, strengthening your abdominals and back muscles. Take a second to think about how much you use your core every day without even realizing: to stand up, walk, bend over, even to sit in a chair. If you suffer from back pain, it's probably because these muscles are weak. If you strengthen them, it'll got a long way to alleviate current woes and help prevent future pain.

2. Build core strength and long, lean muscles.

For most of us, the core is the weakest part of our bodies, but it's our center, where all our strength originates from. When it's weak, the entire body is weak.

Pilates focuses on exercises that constantly engage the core, leading to flat abs and a strong back. Unlike weight lifting that can cause muscles to shorten and bulk, Pilates focuses on resistance and assistance training to work both sides of muscles simultaneously. This allows the muscles to elongate to get that long, lengthened, toned muscle.

3. Increase flexibility, coordination and balance.

Not surprisingly, your balance and coordination come from your core as well. When Pilates strengthens your core, those muscles that control balance and coordination are also strengthened, helping to prevent falls and injuries. Increased flexibility also allows muscles to lengthen and be more pliable so they can bend and stretch further to alleviate the possibility of injury.

4. Pilates is for everyone.

Women, men, children, the elderly, anyone with chronic illness and pain, athletes, dancers, and even pregnant mothers can benefit from Pilates. It builds a stronger core, betters balance, increases flexibility and promotes stability. Pilates improves posture, body awareness, builds optimal health and helps you to move more efficiently. It's gentle while also challenging. It's proven to aid with treating and managing pain because low-impact exercises take the stress off joints and bones. There are no excuses NOT to give it a try.

5. You can do it anywhere.

Pilates is so versatile that you can do it almost anywhere: at home, in the gym or studio, in a hotel room, even on the beach! Even if all you've got to spare are 15 minutes, you can reap the benefits just from doing warm up exercises. All you need is your own body weight to use as the resistance. Want to up your practice? Add balls, bands and other small equipment to increase the intensity and resistance.

Still wondering if Pilates is right for you? Joseph Pilates once said, in "10 sessions you'll feel the difference, in 20 sessions you'll see the difference, and in 30 sessions you'll have a whole new body." Doesn't that seem like something worthwhile?

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