Benefits of Pilates

Q. Can Pilates really change my body? What are some realistic goals a healthy person can expect to achieve?

A. Yes, absolutely! With patience, persistence and consistency—i.e., sessions two to three times a week—Pilates will gradually transform your body, from the inside out. Mr. Pilates used to say, after 10 sessions you will feel better, after 20 sessions you will look better, and after 30 sessions you will have a whole new body. This claim has proven itself to be true time and time again by countless happy Pilates practitioners.

As for goals, the first thing you may notice is an uptick in your energy level, as Pilates  encourages you to breathe more deeply and rhythmically as you move. The extra oxygen in your body will definitely make you feel more energetic!

Next, you may notice that you are moving about your everyday tasks with more grace and in an enhanced, pain-free range of motion. This is because Pilates exercises focus on whole-body movements—the way we move in real life—instead of targeting one specific muscle or body part in an isolated way.

You will also notice that you are developing better posture and an increased sense of postural awareness. You will feel and even look taller! This is because Pilates emphasizes proper form and mindfulness with each repetition (never more than 10 for each exercise; sometimes as few as three to five), over mind-numbing reps of boring exercises.

Finally, you will probably notice that your clothes fit a bit differently, and that your legs, arms, back and ab muscles are firming up. Your stamina will improve, enhancing your enjoyment of all physical activities. So, there’s no time to waste; get cracking and hit your Pilates studio or mat today!


» A former professional ballerina and avid yogini, Jillian Hessel has been teaching Pilates since 1981. Known for her concise verbal instruction and crystal-clear imagery, she’s the author of Pilates Basics, available on amazon.com and jillianhessel.com. An international presenter at fitness conferences throughout the world, Hessel also mentors Pilates teachers through her Keeping the Flame program; you can take her online classes on Pilates Anytime.


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