Pilates Continues to Be a Popular Form of Exercise

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There have been a lot of fitness trends that have come and gone over the years. However, Pilates is one that has stuck around for the last century due to its unique approach to both strengthen the core and enhance flexibility. Pilates is recommended for individuals of all ages to be performed a few days a week alongside aerobic exercise for a great overall physical fitness routine.

Contrary to what many people believe, one doesn't need to work up a sweat to workout their body. Rather, in Pilates, one will spend most of their time concentrating on their breathing and movements. One will feel their muscles being worked in a new way and will benefit from the enhanced strength and better postural alignment that this type of exercise provides.

What Is Pilates?

Pilates is a low-impact form of exercise that specifically works to enhance postural alignment, strengthen core muscles, and improve flexibility. A typical Pilates routine will last for about 45 minutes to an hour and can be performed with or without equipment. This full-body exercise involves slow, precise movements done with breath control.

Most pilates routines are done with the user on a mat or on a reformer. A typical Pilates mat is somewhat similar to a traditional yoga mat. However, Pilates mats are a bit thicker to help cushion the user's movement. In advanced classes, users are typically introduced to a reformer. This is a machine with a sliding platform that has a stationary foot bar, pulleys, and springs. These components all work to provide resistance throughout the user's movements.

Finding a Pilates Class

One of the best ways to learn a new form of exercise is to participate in a class. There are a number of Pilates classes out there for one to choose from. These include in-person classes, at home video instruction, virtual instruction, and one-on-one in-person instruction. Before deciding on which type of class to participate in, it's important to consider a couple of factors.

The first factor one needs to consider is their time investment. In-person and one-on-one instruction tend to require a set schedule. For example, classes every Tuesday and Thursday at 6 pm. Virtual and at home video instruction can typically be performed at any time that is convenient for the participant.

Another necessary consideration is a person's budget. One can expect to pay anywhere between $30 and $60 per group pilates class. Private sessions can range from $100 to $150, depending on the instructor. Virtual classes are usually offered by paid subscription plans that range between $10 and $30 per month. There are also free video lessons available on sites like YouTube. It's important to note that participants who choose to do Pilates at home will be responsible for paying for their own equipment.

Doing Pilates at Home

Many individuals have chosen to practice Pilates at home. By performing this type of exercise at home, one has the convenience of no time restraints and optimal focus. As we touched on above, at home participants will need to invest money in their own equipment. Depending on the particular type of Pilates desired, the participant will need to invest in some basic equipment.

The most important is a Pilates mat or reformer. For beginners, it can make more financial sense to invest in a mat until optimal core strength is met to upgrade to a reformer. From a financial perspective, Pilates mats run around $30, while reformers run anywhere from $500 to $3,000. Some additional equipment that one may want to purchase include rings, balls, and resistance bands.

At home Pilates will require some sort of digital screen for the user. This could include a basic television, computer screen, or the new Mirror. This screen works to provide instruction for the participant throughout the workout, so it should be placed in a convenient location in the area that the activity will be performed.