Fad workouts come and go, but Pilates continue to a favorite among Hollywood starlets and well-versed fitness fanatics. What's to love about the exercise? Check out these three reasons to do Pilates below.
- Lengthen and Strengthen: The "oft-quoted" promise that Pilates exercise will make you look long and lean may be a stretch , since there's no physical way to actually make your muscles longer or leaner. But regularly practicing Pilates can help you combat muscle bulkiness. "In Pilates you stretch the muscle to its full extension, then contract it". With weights, however, "you are using your muscles against the resistance of that weight you are holding. So while you're lifting the weight you build and expand your muscle. You are adding a layer of muscle and reshaping."
- Body Awareness: No doubt, you become more aware of your body. Pilates teaches you how to breathe - useful when you're out on your daily run - and how to stand correctly - useful for making your belly look much flatter. It's not all deep breathing and better posture; a regular Pilates practice can also connect you with your body and help you be better coordinated and mindful in all your movements.
- Calorie Burn: Pilates may not exactly be a calorie-buster, but going to Pilates class will help you burn a decent amount while you strengthen and stretch. A 120-pound woman will burn 191 calories in a one-hour Pilates class, which makes the workout perfect for those lower-intensity days.