Benefits of using the Pilates Reformer

Benefits of using the Pilates Reformer

“If your spine is inflexibly stiff at 30, you are old; if it is completely flexible at 60, you are young.” ~ Joseph H. Pilates.

Whether you do Pilates as your mainstream workout or to supplement other activities, exciting news for everyone is that a new study shows that regular exercise slows down the signs of ageing.

I started my Pilates journey few years back along with YOGA, when I was almost immobile due to a lower back spasm. It was Reformer Pilates and Yoga which helped me to recover, gain my strength back and be fit.

A very recent study has shown that the muscles of older men and women who have exercised for decades are extremely distinguishable in many ways from those of healthy 25-year-olds, according to the study these men and women also had much higher aerobic capacities than most people their age, the study showed, making them biologically about 30 years younger than their chronological ages.

What is Pilates Reformer?

The Pilates Reformer is an exercise machine used to incorporate the Pilates exercise technique for a challenging and intense workout. Springs, leverage and body weight are used as resistance while performing movements targeting specific muscle groups. Workouts consist of controlled, flowing movements working your muscles through a full range of motion. The reformer adds increased resistance to the movement. By working to overcome this resistance, training results in increased fitness levels.

Few Benefits of using the Pilates Reformer:

Pilates Improves Your Strength – Don’t think that Pilates is a gentle workout.  Reformer Pilates can be a seriously challenging because the movement is so specific, controlled and precise.  Just ask the Leinster Rugby Team, who often use Reformer Pilates to enhance preseason conditioning.

Pilates Improves Flexibility – Using Reformer Pilates to carefully create a movement sequence that works the joints, muscles and bones all together is going to give you a much enhanced level of flexibility.

Improves Breathing – Pilate’s workouts emphasize proper breathing. Breathing becomes deeper and less frequent, resulting in improved relaxation. Benefits include increased lung capacity and breathing efficiency during workouts and at rest. Your lungs are better equipped to supply your body with increased oxygen during workouts. Energy levels increase during exercise and at rest.

Pilates Reduces Mental Stress & Fatigue – Breathing properly can also super charge your core strength.  Your diaphragm and core muscles work in tandem so when you improve your breathing, you improve your dynamic core strength too.

Reduces Body Fat – Exercise increases your metabolism, your body’s ability to burn calories. Increased muscle mass increases the number of calories burned. When the amount of calories burned is more than the amount of calories eaten, excess body fat is burned and used for energy to meet the increased demand.

Pilates Makes You Happy – But the biggest benefit Pilates brings to your life is that it can really improve your mood.  Whether it is all that  spine movement, an hour of head space or just being in the incredible environment of the studios, Pilates leaves you feeling better on the way out every time.

Keep your body moving and let Pilates take your health to a new level.

10 Benefits of Practicing Yoga

The word YOGA has been derived from the Sanskrit word “YUJI” meaning union, yoga is an ancient practice that brings together mind and body. It incorporates breathing exercises, meditation and poses designed to encourage relaxation and reduce stress.

I started yoga when I got major spasm in my lower back few years back it helped me a lot to release the pain and recover. I practice yoga generally thrice a week at the break of dawn. 

Yoga practicing is said to have many benefits for both mental, spiritual and physical health.

This blog takes a look at 10 benefits of yoga.

1. Relieves Anxiety

Many people begin practicing yoga as a way to cope with feelings of anxiety, it emphasizes the importance of being present in the moment and finding a sense of peace, which could help treat anxiety.

2. Can Decrease Stress

Yoga is known for its ability to ease stress and promote relaxation.

In fact, multiple studies have shown that it can decrease the secretion of cortisol, the primary stress hormone. When used alone or along with other methods of alleviating stress, such as meditation, yoga can be a powerful way to keep stress in check.

Studies show that yoga can help ease stress and lower your levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

3. Improves Quality of Life

Yoga is becoming increasingly common as an adjunct therapy to improve quality of life for many individuals. Studies have found that yoga may help improve sleep quality, enhance spiritual well-being, improve social function and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in patients with cancer.

4. Could Improve Heart Health

From pumping blood throughout the body to supplying tissues with important nutrients, the health of your heart is an essential component of overall health. Studies show that yoga may help improve heart health and reduce several risk factors for heart disease.

High blood pressure is one of the major causes of heart problems, such as heart attacks and stroke. Lowering your blood pressure can help reduce the risk of these problems. Some research also suggests that incorporating yoga into a healthy lifestyle could help slow the progression of heart disease.

5. May Reduce Inflammation

In addition to improving your mental health, some studies suggest that practicing yoga may reduce inflammation as well.

Inflammation is a normal immune response, but chronic inflammation can contribute to the development of pro-inflammatory diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Some studies show that yoga may reduce inflammatory markers in the body and help prevent pro-inflammatory diseases.

6. May Fight Depression

Some Researches show that yoga may have an anti-depressant effect and could help decrease symptoms of depression. This may be because yoga is able to decrease levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that influences levels of serotonin, the neurotransmitter often associated with depression. Yoga may decrease symptoms of depression by influencing the production of stress hormones in the body.

7. Could Promote Sleep Quality

Poor sleep quality has been associated with obesity, high blood pressure and depression, among other disorders. Studies show that incorporating yoga into your routine could help promote better sleep.

Another research looked at the effects of yoga on sleep in patients with lymphoma. They found that it decreased sleep disturbances, improved sleep quality and duration and reduced the need for sleep medications. Although the way it works is not clear, yoga has been shown to increase the secretion a hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness.

Yoga also has a significant effect on anxiety, depression, chronic pain and stress — all common contributors to sleep problems.

8. Could Reduce Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a persistent problem that affects millions of people and has a range of possible causes, from injuries to arthritis.

Although more research is needed, incorporating yoga into your daily routine may be beneficial for those who suffer from chronic pain.

9. Improves Flexibility and Balance

Lot of people add yoga to their fitness routine to improve flexibility and balance.

There is considerable research that backs this benefit, demonstrating that it can optimize performance through the use of specific poses that target flexibility and balance.

Practicing just 20–30 minutes of yoga each day could make a big difference for those looking to enhance performance by increasing flexibility and balance.

10. Promotes Healthy Eating Habits

Mindful eating, also known as intuitive eating, is a concept that encourages being present in the moment while eating.

It’s a lot about paying attention to the taste, smell and texture of your food and noticing any thoughts, feelings or sensations you experience while eating. This practice has been shown to promote healthy eating habits that help control blood sugar, increase weight loss and treat disordered eating behaviors.

Because yoga places a similar emphasis on mindfulness, some studies show that it could be used to encourage healthy eating behaviors. For those with and without disordered eating behaviors, practicing mindfulness through yoga can aid in the development of healthy eating habits.

Summary

Multiple studies have confirmed the many mental and physical benefits of yoga.

Incorporating it and making it a daily habit into your routine can help enhance your health, increase strength and flexibility and reduce symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety.

Finding the time to practice yoga just a few times per week may be enough to make a noticeable difference when it comes to your health.

**For all my Mumbai readers – Yoga Institute in Santa Cruz East is what I would personally recommend as they have been consistently the best since 100 years .

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