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THE BENEFITS OF PILATES

The benefits of Pilates are numerous and include:

• Less incidence of back pain
• Better posture
• Improved flexibility
• Lowered stress levels
• Toned buttocks and thighs
• Toned arms and shoulder area
• A flatter stomach and a trimmer waist
• Fewer headaches (where they are posture-related)
• A better balance between strength and suppleness
• Greater strength and muscle tone
• Increased bone density - suitable for Osteoporosis sufferers
• Greater joint mobility
• Better co-ordination
• Greater body awareness
• Fewer injuries 


SPECIAL POPULATIONS / CONDITIONS


The list below is a small selection of the conditions / specialist groups that could benefit from taking part in Pilates classes. This is not a complete list of all conditions, so if you have a condition that is not listed below, and would like to take part in a Pilates class, please contact Suzanne Rogers to discuss
Tel: 07917 44 55 06.

Please note that if you are affected by any of these or other medical conditions,  I recommend that you seek medical advice / approval prior to taking part.



Antenatal - Pilates is an excellent form of exercise to do throughout your pregnancy. Antenatal Pilates classes are adapted to suit your changing body and take into consideration the different stages of your pregnancy. By practising Pilates during pregnancy you will prepare your body for the demands which will be made upon it; Pilates also strengthens those muscles which are required for the delivery of your baby with an emphasis on exercising your pelvic floor effectively. 

Postnatal - Once your midwife or doctor has given you permission to resume exercise, Pilates is a gentle yet effective way to regain your pre-pregnancy body. Again your pelvic floor will be worked to rebuild strength and help prevent stress incontinence from weak pelvic floor muscles. Exercises will focus on core strength to encourage correct postural alignment, however BEWARE of undertaking exercise with a teacher who has not undergone specialist training in Pregnancy Pilates or exercise as you should not return to doing 'sit-up' type exercises until your 'Diastasis Rectis' has been assessed! Diastasis Recti is the separation of the rectus abdominis (superficial abdominal muscles); the two sides of the rectus abdominis are joined together by a sheath known as the linea alba. The separation of the abdominal muscles is a natural occurrence during pregnancy to accommodate your growing baby.

Osteoporosis - is a disease of the bones which leads to loss of bone density and brittle bones. A decrease in bone density is a normal effect of ageing but in the case of Osteoporosis this loss of bone density is at a much faster rate. The spine, wrists and hips are most affected by this disease. The decrease in bone density leads to an increased risk of fracture. Pilates can be beneficial in helping prevent and slow the progression of Osteoporosis due to the inclusion of weight bearing exercise (weight bearing exercise promotes the production of bone). Core muscles are strengthened by regular participation in Pilates classes; these deep muscles stabilise the spine and pelvis. Balance is also incorporated into the Pilates class and improved balance, coupled with better spine and pelvic stability will help reduce the risk of falls, thus helping to avoid fracturing of weakened bones.

Older Adults - Pilates classes for older adults focus on muscle strength and joint mobility. Regular participation can help maintain or indeed improve the range of movement of important joints, such as the shoulder. Exercises focus on 'functional' movement patterns; working through a range of movements and using muscles that we need for our everyday lives eg. pelvic stability - pelvic stability is an important factor in walking; leg strength - getting in and out of a chair, or more importantly, being able to get up from the floor (this could have serious implications in the event of a fall). Another very important part of joining a class is the social benefits such as making new friends.

Arthritis - Arthritis is a term used to encompass conditions which damage the joints of the body. It is the leading cause of disability in people over 55 years of age. Arthritis wears away the cartilage at the end of the bone, preventing the smooth movement of the affected joint. Eventually bone starts to rub against bone causing inflammation and pain. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and is often the result of trauma to the joint, infection of the joint, or ageing. Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to attack the joint, causing inflammation and destruction. For sufferers of arthritis maintaining mobility of the joint is crucial and can often give some relief from symptoms, however with Rheumatoid Arthritis, exercise should be avoided during bouts of inflammation.

Rehabilitation after injury / surgery / illness - Pain from an injury or following surgery can inhibit muscles function and in some cases alter correct movement pattern. This flawed pattern has implications on posture and functionality of our bodies. If you have been living with pain for a long time then muscle imbalances may have developed;
some muscles may have become weaker and lengthened, whereas
some may have become tight and restrictive. Once you have been
given the all clear by your doctor or health professional, Pilates can be
an excellent method to help regain strength, stability and flexibility, and
work on rebalancing the body, promoting correct movement patterns.
Exercise can be adapted to suit your stage of recovery and progressed
as the rehabilitation process proceeds.