Pilates power: injury prevention & cure

2013Feb26_Pilates_APilates is a powerful practice that can transform your body, and many would say your mind and your life too! It is also a renowned fitness rehabilitation program for people with injuries, as well as a perfect workout for anyone who wants to avoid or minimize the risk of injury. Do you know what Pilates is and how it can protect you from pain and injury as well as get you back on your feet again?

Pilates offers total body conditioning so that you really tone and lengthen the muscles, leading to a leaner and more shapely physique. You might even feel taller as well! But its benefits don’t stop there.

How does Pilates protect you?
If you understand what Pilates is and how it works you can appreciate how it can be a challenging and effective exercise, while still protecting you from injury and helping you to heal also:

  • Controlled, proper movements – You move in the way that you should.
  • Concentration – You focus on how you are moving so you’re less likely to hurt yourself.
  • Low impact – Pilates doesn’t put a strain on the joints and weak points of the body.
  • No inflammation – Gentle, powerful stretches mean you won’t irritate or inflame muscles.
  • No overuse – Full-on, heavy duty cardio can carry the risk of sprains from overkill.
  • Body awareness – Being in touch with your movements means you can react to them.

Injury prevention
Athletes who want to build up their core strength often cross-train with Pilates because they don’t want to put their ability to do their main activity in jeopardy. Increasing core strength and flexibility also adds an extra layer of protection as this improves the ability to move efficiently. Balance, coordination and neuromuscular control improved by practicing also decreases injury-risk factors.

Of course, you don’t have to be an elite athlete to want an exercise routine that is less likely to debilitate you in some way. You might be using Pilates to improve your sports performance, or even just to help your general mobility as you get older, or following an illness, using this as functional training for a better quality of life.

Rehabilitation
If you’ve ever suffered an injury that’s affected your ability to move around, or to exercise, you’ll know that your fitness levels can really slump and it can get harder and harder to get back into a healthy routine and gain some exercise momentum. You have to be careful. If you hit a weak point then you could make it worse, hindering the healing process and putting your fitness plans on the back burner. It’s important to work with a qualified Pilates instructor who understands how an injury affects your movement and your abilities.

What Pilates can do is give you peace of mind and reduce the fear factor when it comes to exercise and injury. A slow, methodical approach does not have to be dull either, in fact Pilates is one of the most dynamic practices you can do!

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