It is not excuse not to attend any Pilates classes provided you have a very good Pilates teacher training Sydney. Exercise is believed to make you stay more youthful for longer. This is due to a number of factors. The first is that when you exercise, your body releases endorphins which make the mind feel happy. The saying ‘you’re only as old as you feel’ does ring true as it’s believed that a positive mental attitude and a healthy outlook on life leads to a more youthful appearance.
Secondly, exercise helps strengthen the body which also helps it stay youthful for longer. At the age of thirty, body functions start to deteriorate by approximately 2% per year but by undertaking regular exercise, this figure is reduced to less than 1% per year.
Exercise can take a number of forms from walking to jogging, horse riding to roller-skating, pumping iron to cycling. But for those who don’t want to undertake such a vigorous exercise regime, there are now ways of following a more gentle approach through Yoga and Pilates.
Yoga is traditionally a mental and physical discipline that was practised by Hindus in India. However over the last few years it has become a very popular form of exercise in the UK. There are several different forms of Yoga all are based on control and uniting the body, mind and spirit.
Different people practice Yoga for different reasons but generally the benefits of Yoga can be separated into two defined areas: physiological and psychological.
Physiological benefits include:
- A decrease in pulse rate which helps to calm the body.
- A decrease in the respiratory rate also helps calm the body whilst allowing a more efficient oxygen supply as deeper breaths are taken.
- Blood pressure decreases which helps to minimise the risk of heart related problems.
- There is an increase in the efficiency of the cardiovascular system which also reduces the risk of heart related problems.
- Gastrointestinal functions normalise enabling digestion to be done more easily.
- Excretory functions improve which helps to rid the body of waste more easily.
- There is an increased joint and flexibility range allowing more movement.
- Grip strength increases which leads to toned muscles.
- There is an improvement in hand-eye coordination.
- Reaction times can be reduced which is beneficial for other aspects of life.
- There is an improvement in general posture which reduces the risk of back problems.
- There is an increase in overall body strength which helps to keep the body more youthful.
- There is an increase in your endurance levels.
- There is an increase in your energy levels which help in your general day to day life.
- Sleep is often improved which allows for better cell regeneration.
- There is an improvement in the immune system helping you stay healthy.
- There is an overall improvement in balance which is helpful in counteracting the aging process in the body.
- It allows body parts to function together as a whole.
Psychological benefits include:
- There is an improvement in your mood and subjective well-being.
- There is an increase in self-acceptance and self-actualisation.
- You will experience a decrease in anxiety and depression
- You will experience a decrease in hostility towards others and situations
- There is an improvement in both short and long term memory
- It leads to a better level of concentration.
Pilates was developed in Germany in the 20th century and, along with Yoga, has become very popular in the UK over the last few years as it is a gentle exercise that can be done at any age and with any physical ability.
Pilates is based around eight basic principles which are:
- Alignment – having the correct postural alignment means that exercise is more efficient with less risk of injury.
- Breathing – ensures that oxygen is supplied to all areas of the body. In Pilates breathing is to be done with control and precision.
- Centering – involves making the muscles of the ‘powerhouse’ which encompasses the abdomen, lower back, hips and buttocks, work together and more efficiently.
- Control – this relates to the overall muscle control in the body which is achieved through Pilates.
- Precision – every movement in Pilates has a purpose and has to be precise.
- Flow of movement – all movements undertaken are supposed to be continuous and blend into each other as oppose to stopping and starting.
- Flexibility – one of the aims of Pilates is to provide flexibility to the body.
The benefits of Pilates are very similar to those of Yoga but are less focused on the psychological elements and more on the physical elements.
Both Pilates and Yoga also have a number of other benefits which include:
- Less risk of injury compared to more rigorous sports
- Less calories are consumed during the exercises so you don’t have to alter your diet to compensate.
- There is no particular equipment required, except the option of a mat which means there is no investment required.
- Both Yoga and Pilates can be done virtually anywhere.
- Neither are competitive so do not bring extra stress or pressure to outperform others.
- Neither Yoga or Pilates leave you tired in fact leave you energised due to the breathing techniques practised.
Whichever you choose, both Yoga and Pilates will have a positive effect on your health and general well-being.
Sobby C. V.
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