It is the sad reality that each year, 1 in 5 Australians will experience a mental illness. All of us at times feel stressed out and burdened by our thoughts and amounts.
Since its creation in the 1920s, Pilates has been used around the world to increase muscle strength, increase core strength, improve athletic performance, rehabilitate injury, improve flexibility and posture, and lose weight. However more research is suggesting that Pilates also has a wide range of mental health benefits. Let’s look at some of the ways that Pilates has the potential to help improve mental health.
Using the Breath to Find Mindfulness in Movement
Breath is one of the most powerful tools in calming the mind and is utilised in a wide range of mental health practices, from yoga to mindfulness to the Alexander technique. Similarly, breathing is one of Joseph Pilates’ 8 Principles of Pilates and is an essential component of all Pilates classes. Every Pilates exercise involves a particular breathing pattern which improves the effectiveness of the exercise, helps to supply oxygen to the muscles, removes waste products and prevents you from holding your breath. In focusing on your breath, the brain is not able to compile that “to do” list or focus on the afternoon schedule of picking up the kids, getting to swimming practice or what to have for dinner! Instead, Pilates directs your focus inward for the duration of the class, focusing on the present, feeling the muscles work and reconnecting with your body.
Stress Management & Relaxation
Pilates is used by many to assist with stress management and relaxation. There is mounting evidence that suggests exercise is an effective treatment method for people suffering from acute and chronic mental illness, with some studies suggesting that exercise is just as effective, if not more effective than pharmacological intervention in alleviating depressive symptoms.
Exercise can make a big difference in mood. Exercise can decrease ‘stress hormones’ like cortisol, and increase endorphins, your body’s ‘feel-good’ chemicals, giving your mood a natural boost”.
Improving Memory and Brain Training
When performing automated forms of exercise such as running on a treadmill, the body may be working but the brain is not actively engaged. This may lead to increased risk of injury and reduced exercise benefits. Pilates requires you to recruit both your body and mind simultaneously. When we learn a new exercise or modification, it challenges the brain to learn a new skill, keeping the mind engaged at all times.
In addition to this, “exercise pumps blood to the brain, which should make you think more clearly. It increases the size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory. It also increases the connections between the nerve cells in the brain. This improves your memory and helps protect your brain against injury and disease
Whether you are looking to increase your mental health or your physical health your reformer pilates is a great way to practice mindful low impact movements.
Get A Fresh Start
The Ultimate New Years Resolution Program
February 9th 2019
35 Group Reformer Classes with an Accredited Exercise Physiologist
Nutrition Workbook + Guidance for meal plans
Pre-Challenge Nutrition Workshop and Meal Plan Guidance
1:1 Initial Consultation with an Accredited Sports Dietitian
1:1 Review with Accredited Sports Dietitian to track progress + Provide assistance
Skinfolds or DEXA Measurements
Online Group Support
Pre Challenge Brunch
Float & Sauna for recovery and relaxation
Competition Prizes for Program Winners