10 Awesome Reasons to Give Pilates a Try This Week ...

There are lots of reasons to try Pilates, so if you don't already do this exercise, it's an excellent time to start. The best part is that it's endlessly adaptable, so you can easily enjoy the benefits of Pilates by modifying to fit your lifestyle, your needs, or even the equipment you have at hand. Trust me, the benefits are many, and if you love yoga, it's practically a guarantee that you'll like Pilates as well. But you don't have to take my word for it! In fact, here's a great list of reasons if you want to know why to try Pilates.

1. A Stronger Core

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One of the main reasons to try Pilates is because it seriously strengthens your core. From your back to your pelvis to your abdomen, your core will see vast improvements. As you'll see when you keep reading, each of these areas undergo an improvement when you start incorporating Pilates into your exercise regime. The result is better overall health, and you simply can't beat that. A strong, stable core enables you to do things you never imagined doing before.

2. Awesome Flexibility

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Your flexibility is another great reason to try Pilates – that is, if you want to improve it. There's a reason athletes like figure skaters and gymnasts frequently exercise using various Pilates techniques. You don't have to get that involved, but if you want supple muscles that stretch with ease, you'll love this. If you combine it with yoga, especially, you'll be amazed at how flexible you become, and that really improves your overall lifestyle.

3. Full Body Fitness

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It's always a great idea to do exercise that benefit your entire body. Pilates does that, because it doesn't focus solely on certain areas of the body while ignoring others, so you won't end up with buff biceps but skinny legs or anything like that. This goes back to how well Pilates strengthens your core. It works every muscle and every joint, so again, doing it really improves your general health.

4. Lean, Mean Muscles

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In fact, if you want leaner, more supple muscles that are youthful, healthy, and fully capable, then Pilates really is the exercise for you. An improvement in muscle tone is one of the greatest reasons to try Pilates, because you'll see it throughout your entire body. The muscles in your arms, your legs, your back, and your torso will attain much more balance. The thing is, they won't get bulky; you'll just be toned and taut. Between this, additional flexibility, and the benefits to your bones, it's no wonder so many Pilates-believers swear they've even grown a little bit taller!

5. Extra Energy

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Lots of exercises give you extra energy, especially as and just after you do them. One of the benefits of Pilates, however, is that you have extra energy all the time. These exercises, no matter how you do them or what techniques you use, really improve your circulation. You'll breathe easier, your muscles are wonderfully stimulated, and your entire body opens up. As a result, you'll notice that you feel more and more energized, which in turn makes you want to exercise even more. Kind of an awesome cycle, right?

6. Total Adaptability

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When I first became aware of Pilates, I witnessed a very extreme, advanced form, and mistakenly thought that was the only form of Pilates I could do. And that just was not happening! The truth of the matter is that you can easily adapt Pilates to your personal fitness level and ability. There are techniques and classes for beginners, for people with special fitness needs, there are special exercises for both men and women, the list goes on. Whatever your needs or skills, you will be able to find a form of Pilates that works for you.

7. Perfect Posture, Better Balance

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I love exercises that improve more than just my weight or my muscle tone. With Pilates, you'll notice that your posture improves and that your balance is better. For someone clumsy like me, the latter is definitely a bonus. Doing Pilates actually lengthens and straightens your spine. With better posture comes better health. Seriously, you'll feel better. You'll look better too, and give off an air of confidence, but I think feeling better is much, much more important, don't you?

8. Weight Loss

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And yes, Pilates helps you lose weight as well! As you improve your muscles, making them long, lean, and strong, your body starts looking better. But this is also the kind of workout that makes you sweat. It will get your heart working, and that kind of cardio is a serious weight loss booster. You'll be burning calories without even realizing it! As you become more and more advanced, you'll see more and bigger results.

9. Youthful Appeal

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Another big benefit of Pilates is that it can ease your aches and pains. It takes the pressure off your joints for one thing, which is extremely helpful. Since it improves your posture, the strength of your spine, and even the tilt of your pelvic floor, it can also improve back, neck, and shoulder pain. You'll breathe much more easily, as well, all of which leaves you pain free and glowing. There are even Pilates gurus who believe that it's an anti-aging exercise!

10. A Beautiful Mind

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Last but most certainly not least, Pilates can make you smarter – or at least sharper! Pilates focuses more on the mind than the body, which is actually one of the reasons it benefits the body so much. Your consciousness increases, your more aware of your body and its movements, and as a result, your mind actually blossoms. It gets sharper and becomes more aware all the time, not just during a workout.

From developing your core to improving your flexibility, reaching a state of inner calm, or even making your sex life better, the list of reasons to try Pilates is many and varied. It might not work for you, but if it does, it could really change your life! If you've tried it, what's your favorite benefit of Pilates and why would you recommend it to someone else?

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