Whilst the desire for health and fitness shows no sign of abating, there is a plethora of exercise techniques available and it is often tempting to choose one that will require great physical exertion in order to feel that you are working the body. Yet an equally effective technique is learning how to do Pilates which does not include sweat inducing exercise but does require guidelines that should be followed for success.
The first secret to Pilates success is the requirement for relaxation. Whilst you should be in a relaxed state, the exercises will in effect train the body to use only the muscles needed for the actual activity. The remaining muscles will be left in a relaxed state and thus the body, when called upon to perform any task will work to its optimum efficiency.
The ability to maintain concentration is vital when seeking to achieve fitness success using Pilates. And through concentration you will learn about muscle awareness by contracting and relaxing different muscle groups which is achieved using specific patterns of exercises. It will not be long before this muscle awareness becomes a subconscious reaction.
The third secret is to ensure your breathing technique and patterns are correct. Diaphragmatic breathing, where the whole diaphragm is engaged in the breathing process is encouraged and enhanced and each Pilates exercise that is undertaken requires a specific method and timing of inhaling and exhaling. By adhering to this, you will then become much more aware of your body's movement and how exactly it is achieved.
In addition to this, there is the concept of heightened body awareness as an integral facet of Pilates and can be attained through the principles of precision, control and centering. This is where you will require being very precise in undertaking physical movement and the control used to achieve such movement. You will be be surprised how quickly you become aware of how the body achieves this and the economical effort that is required.
The fifth and sixth secrets of how to do Pilates successfully are concerned with stress reduction. Guided imagery is a successful method of stress reduction that teaches the art of relaxation through using your imagination to see yourself in a calm and peaceful place. To compliment this, mindfulness is developed with the goal of enhancing your quality of life with the requirement to live in the present moment which will have the effect of reducing any current problems of negative stress. Where someone is mindfull, their full attention will be in the present rather than having their thoughts drifting off to some stressful problem that requires to be faced somtime in the future.
What can be deduced is that Pilates techniques are not just another routine exercise methods where the body is pushed and tested in the quest for better health and fitness. Whilst the outcome will be a healthier you with better fitness, inner strength, flexibility and better posture, by discovering how to do Pilates you will be far more in touch with your body, how it works and how to better protect and care for it.