Written by Sabrina Fu, Pilates Instructor

Most people who are unfamiliar with the Pilates method may think that the main benefits are simply improvements in posture and flexibility, but it goes far beyond that!

Whether you are looking to rehabilitate an injury, improve overall strength and mobility, or enhance athletic/sports performance, Pilates is an excellent exercise method to add to your lifestyle.

How Pilates Can Benefit You:

1. Strengthens your Mental & Body Awareness

Pilates is low-impact, yet highly effective for enhancing your mind-body connection, regardless of your fitness level. There is a strong emphasis on sufficient breathing and working the body as an integrated whole, which massively improves your coordination and musculoskeletal function. Ultimately, this prevents the risk of injury and thus promotes a better quality of life.

2. Improves Mobility and Flexibility

Wanting to feel less ‘stiff’ in the joints and more supple and mobile? Pilates engages your body through different planes of movement in a controlled and repetitive manner. This stretches and strengthens the deep muscles surrounding your joints, so that you are able to move your joints comfortably and confidently through a range of motion that they were designed for.

3. Core strengthening

Your core not only comprises the abdominal muscles, but also the diaphragm, deep postural muscles in the spine and pelvic floor. Challenging your core with a variety of movement patterns, along with the correct breathing technique, can help strengthen and stabilise your core and translate to everyday activity and/or athletic performance.

I’ve only named a few of the myriad benefits Pilates has on your overall well-being. So, the next best thing you can do now is to give it a go (with consistency and effort, of course) and experience the positive changes for yourself! Contact Auckland Physiotherapy to help you begin your journey into the world of Pilates.

Our Ask A Physio series is a collection of microblogs aimed at giving a basic understanding of some frequently asked questions. If you have an injury or are experiencing discomfort please book an assessment or contact reception for more information.


Is hot or cold best for sore muscles?

This is actually a topic of pretty intense debate, even after all of these years! We know that both heat and cold can provide good pain relief, so the difference really comes down to timing. In a fresh injury, I usually advise ice in the first 72 hours, as local of an area as possible, and for about 20 minutes three times a day. Beyond this, the research seems to say that going over the top with ice can actually slow down healing.

The side note here would be about ice baths for recovery, which come and go with other exercise trends. There’s no good evidence that ice baths speed up your recovery or make muscles work any better. They do however improve your perception of how well you’ve recovered after a big workout. The good old placebo effect maybe? If you’re going to give it a go, make sure to check in with your GP or physiotherapist first, and always have someone else around to help you.

After the first couple of days, I think heat makes more sense. It drives blood flow and nutrition to a healing area and can be really soothing, particularly for back pain. Heat can also make your soft tissues softer, potentially making moving and stretching a bit easier. Similar to the ice, I would recommend 20 minutes three times a day, just with a simple hot water bottle or wheat bag. One thing to be careful of here is that painful areas can sometimes lose their sense of hot and cold, so make sure that your skin doesn’t get irritated, and check the heat with an injured hand before you apply it.

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