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You've heard that the Pilates Method is great for physical fitness.  But did you know that Pilates might provide a solid workout for your brain as well?

When it comes to improving one's total physical # and mental # well being, the Pilates Method is without a doubt one of the best options.  Experts agree that no other form of exercise can provide the same combination of wonderful benefits that the Pilates fitness method can give.  Longer, leaner muscles, a stronger and more stable core, increased functional strength, dramatically improved flexibility, as well as enhanced balance and coordination are just a few of the many benefits enjoyed by Pilates practitioners.  With so many plusses, it's no wonder that the Pilates Method is also known as "Pilates Total Fitness."

Perhaps one of the best things about the Pilates fitness method is how well it complements other fitness programs and methods of exercise. As a matter of fact, many professional athletes and bodybuilders regularly incorporate Pilates into their daily routines.  These individuals love the Pilates Method for a number of reasons; it increases the flexibility of their joints, improves the overall function and movement of their bodies, and it decreases the chance of injury.

Pilates total fitness is highly adaptable for everyone, making it one of the few true fitness options for people with nagging injuries.  You will often see or hear of the Pilates Method being used to assist in the rehabilitation of patients, as it can be beneficial in helping injured bodies heal and gain strength, without the risk or re-injury.  Some experts believe that because the Pilates movements align the body and "teaches" it to move more efficiently, the risks of suffering from re-injury are decreased.

Does the "total" in Pilates total fitness apply to cardiovascular health as well?   Yes, and no.  Traditional Pilates Method programs do not raise the heart rate enough to induce a really great cardiovascular workout.  There are newer, refined "cousins" to the traditional Pilates program, such as "Windsor Pilates", that do offer such a benefit.  Windsor Pilates incorporates a cardio workout, as well as body toning and weight loss.

We've discussed the body, and it's time to concentrate on the mind # which is exactly what Pilates is especially known for.  Not unlike Yoga, Pilates is one of the few forms of fitness training that pays great attention to the benefits of strong mental health.  Under this fitness program, you will learn how to focus your mind completely, and how to and control your breathing.  Many reports suggest that a regular Pilates fitness method workout can significantly lower stress levels, while dramatically improving overall feelings of well being.   After practicing Pilates for several weeks, people who traditionally practiced yoga have claimed that Pilates offers a number of the same benefits that yoga is able to provide.

So, Pilates benefits the body and the mind.  Does that mean that it's the only workout you need to achieve total fitness?  While it is a great workout on it's own, many people choose to combine Pilates with additional cardiovascular or aerobic exercises, or weight training.   Pair it with your favorite workout, and see if Pilates total fitness is what you've been missing.
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