Did you know that there are at least 11 million people practicing Pilates in the US alone?
When it comes to practice, there are a lot of mental health benefits that people might not be aware of. What does that look like, though? What can you do to feel the benefits for yourself?
Read on to find out more on how Pilates can help you improve your mental health.
What Is Pilates?
Physical Benefits of Pilates
If you’ve heard about Pilates before, it’s probably been from a celebrity talking about it or maybe your friends wanting to check out a class. If you have a friend that’s dedicated to the practice, you might have even heard them talking about pursuing their teaching certification.
A lot of people enjoy this practice, and a big reason for that is due to the physical benefits that you stand to gain from incorporating it into your life. Here are a few of the biggest benefits you’ll see:
- Stronger core
- Improved balance
- Improved flexibility
- Improved posture
- Weight loss
- Longer and leaner muscles
- Recovery from previous injuries
- Preventing future injuries
- Deeper breathing capacity
No matter what you’re looking to find from your exercise regimen, pilates can help.
Mental Health Benefits
Now, what about the mental health connection that comes with Pilates? Here are a few of the biggest differences you can expect to notice.
Since Pilates encourages mindfulness, that means you’re meant to focus on your immediate environment. When you’re encouraged to focus on the current moment, you have the power to gain not only more clarity in the world around you but also in yourself and your practice.
It helps to improve your focus both on and off the mat, which is great for your mental health and also your memory.
Cope With Anxiety and Depression
Develop Better Sleeping Habits
Your breath is one of the most powerful tools your body has in helping to calm the mind. It’s utilized in a lot of mental health practices, including Pilates. In fact, all exercises in this practice come with a specific breathing technique that’s used to improve the overall effectiveness of the exercise itself.
When you supply your muscles and brain with extra oxygen, it helps to remove toxins and it also prevents you from holding your breath, which can have a negative impact on the overall effectiveness of your workouts.
With those removed toxins and extra focus on your breath, it’s going to be a lot easier to stay honed in on exactly what it is that you’re doing and harder for your brain to focus on the things you have waiting at home or how you have to pick up the kids right after you’re done.
You get to focus inward for the duration of your class, feeling your muscles work themselves and working to reconnect with your body.
Easy Stress Management
Widely, Pilates is used as a way to reduce stress and cope with any factors that may be having a negative impact on you.
It helps to decrease the stress hormones in your body, like cortisol, while increasing those feel-good hormones like dopamine and endorphins. When you’re less stressed, you’re a lot more likely to be able to react to tough situations with a level head.