5 WAYS PILATES CAN HELP YOUR BRAIN
If you immediately associate Pilates training with your core (that bit between your chest and pelvis), you wouldn’t be wrong. However, there is a plethora of evidence to suggest that there are also mental benefits to these ever popular workouts. Not convinced? The team here at ZH Pilates list a few that will hopefully change your mind…
1. IT PROMOTES FOCUS & MINDFULNESS
It’s very difficult to practice Pilates if your mind is elsewhere. Many instructors will ask you to move one vertebrae at a time, which requires an immense amount of mental strength and focus. You will be taught to notice sensations that are produced by each and every movement and then co-ordinate your breathing. A recent study shows students who practice Pilates show higher levels of mindfulness. Such increases in mindfulness are linked to lower stress levels and better moods.
2. IT WILL MAKE YOU STRONGER – MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY
Pilates is a form of physical strength training and that form of exercise is invariably associated with increased mental strength. Studies have shown that people who engage in strength training twice a week see improvements in mental functions such as memory and the ability to focus on more than one task at any one time.
3. YOUR IMPROVED POSTURE WILL IMPROVE YOUR ATTITUDE
One of the main goals of Pilates is to improve your posture by strengthening your core muscles such as; your abs and your back. This will lead to better physical alignment and therefore more confidence and vigour when carrying out everyday activities. Better posture is a huge confidence booster, and this will undoubtedly lead to an improved mental state.
4. IT’S A CHANCE TO LEARN NEW THINGS
If you are a newcomer to the ways of Pilates, you will immediately notice the mental benefits of learning a new exercise that contains a vast number of movements. These exercises will give your cognitive flexibility a huge boost as well as your physical flexibility. With the help of a good instructor, you will be able to keep building and modifying and changing your routine over time, benefiting your brain as well as your body.
5. IT WILL HELP YOU SLEEP BETTER
As a general rule, any form of exercise will aid your sleep purely due to the physical output and our inherent need for rest. However, Pilates has been proven to be especially good for improving sleep patterns and quality. Pilates engages your brain and your body with equal intensity, meaning that the output is greater and your body will crave a deeper and better sleep.