At Tahoe Fitness Loft, we love Pilates. It's one of our specialties. We were recently reminded of just how transformative this practice is when we came across the recent article in Women’s Health, ‘Reformer Pilates challenge: ‘I did reformer Pilates twice a week for a month, and the results amazed me,’ by Amelia Bell.
This inspired us to want to talk about this practice we at Tahoe Fitness Loft have been passionate about sharing with our clients for years.
Pilates of course is an exceptionally good practice on its own, but also as a compliment to all of the other wellness pursuits we offer: working with clients in the weight room doing personal training as well as group classes featuring TRX, spin, Barre Sculpt, and more.
Why Pilates? So Many Benefits
There are a few key elements that make Pilates a practice that we recommend pretty much without exception.
First, it’s a whole body, whole movement endeavor. And by that we mean, it stretches and strengthens all the same time. This emphasizes keeping your joints and connective tissues pliable yet strong.
This also means that you work not just your big musicals–like quads, biceps, and glutes–but also all those little muscles that are so important for stability and healthy movement. Speaking of movement, Pilates helps increase and maintain a full range of motion, which is particularly important as we age. Also, being able to recruit those small stabilizing muscles helps with your balance (and balance offer many benefits). This means it improves your ability to stay upright in any number of activities.
Pilates is also a fantastic way to get in better touch with your body and feel how to move it best. That is, you’ll pretty quickly feel where your weaknesses and strengths are, and where your body is more tight or flexible.
This increased body awareness, along with the body balancing that results from a Pilates practice, helps you move more efficiently and smoothly in literally every other activity of life. Added bonus, common aches and pains frequently subside or disappear altogether. Pilates really does make you feel better, all over.
There’s also the added energized yet calm feeling Pilates leaves you with. Like yoga, when you practice Pilates, you connect breath with movement. This deep, complete breathing helps settle your nervous system. The workout aspect–and make no mistake, Pilates is tough, albeit gentle–helps get blood flowing, bringing energizing oxygen to your whole system.
Pilates As an Addition to Other Sports Endeavors
We mentioned up top that Pilates is a wonderful practice on its own or combined with the other offerings at the Loft.
It is also an excellent complement to pretty much any other activity you do. Keeping your body in balance–strong and flexible throughout–will benefit any and all other movement. The better you move, the more efficient you are. This means, for instance, you run, cycle, ski, or golf more efficiently.
The more efficient you are in your movement, the less effort that movement takes. That translates to faster cycling and running and a more powerful golf swing.
You’ll also be less prone to injury. Many injuries are the result of poor movement patterns repeated over time. When your body moves well from top to bottom, which is what Pilates facilitates, these types of maladies are less likely to occur.
You’ll also be more prepared to switch among different types of activities. This is particularly important in an area like Tahoe, where many people change sports depending on the season. Jumping right back into skiing in the winter, for example, often means calling on muscles to make movements they haven’t made since last winter. This is a ripe time to get hurt. Keeping full body range of motion and strength activated through Pilates makes you much more ready to switch things up.
Pilates Is a Practice
We do like to emphasize that Pilates is a practice. It’s a movement journey that is best done regularly. We recommend once or twice a week to truly reap the benefits that Pilates offers.
Are you feeling like it’s time to take on your own 30-day Pilates challenge? We welcome you. Our passionate and experienced Pilates instructors work with all levels of practitioners. The best way to know how much you’ll get out of Pilates is to experience it yourself. We are here for that.