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Improve your endurance and mental strength

Pilates builds endurance within individual exercises and also within workouts. Focus on improving your concentration to build strength for both – endurance comes first from mental strength and therefore requires determination and persistence. Visualize your success and becoming stronger, and stay strong through challenging exercises.

You should practise Pilates sequences without breaks, like a choreographed piece of movement. Initially, you may need to take breaks to perform a linked sequence of exercises. Your muscles will begin to tire after several repetitions, but you need to stay focused and to complete the set. Over time, work towards completing a sequence without pausing.

Key benefits
•Pilates builds stamina, not only physical, but mental.
•Immense strength and tone in the body is developed in Pilates by using your own body weight.
•Improved concentration results from focusing on completing each repetition, exercise, and sequence.

Helps relieve stress and tension

Stress is one of the biggest negative factors of modern life, affecting your physical and mental wellbeing just as much as disease does. Frequent exercise is one of the best remedies for stress and has many benefits. Pilates focuses on breathing – a deep, mindful pattern of breathing that instantly enhances feelings of calm and release in the body and mind. We also work constantly on posture: a poised and lifted body, free from tension and pain, creates a calm mind.

Key benefits
•A sense of calm and wellbeing is encouraged by the relaxation of tense muscles during Pilates.
•Pilates releases endorphins, which naturally cause the body and mind to feel more relaxed and positive.
•Your sleep will improve with regular Pilates, which will greatly reduce any fatigue and stress.
•You will feel energized and invigorated, because Pilates forces you to focus on the present moment and the movement you are performing, to the exclusion of your everyday preoccupations and stresses.

Improve your endurance and mental strength

Pilates builds endurance within individual exercises and also within workouts. Focus on improving your concentration to build strength for both – endurance comes first from mental strength and therefore requires determination and persistence. Visualize your success and becoming stronger, and stay strong through challenging exercises.

You should practise Pilates sequences without breaks, like a choreographed piece of movement. Initially, you may need to take breaks to perform a linked sequence of exercises. Your muscles will begin to tire after several repetitions, but you need to stay focused and to complete the set. Over time, work towards completing a sequence without pausing.

Key benefits
•Pilates builds stamina, not only physical, but mental.
•Immense strength and tone in the body is developed in Pilates by using your own body weight.
•Improved concentration results from focusing on completing each repetition, exercise, and sequence.

Improve your flexibility and mobility

We all want to achieve a strong body, but there must be a balance between strength and flexibility, and Pilates is the perfect exercise regime to achieve this. Tight muscles hinder your mobility and can lead to tension, aches, and pain. Flexibility is essential for your overall fitness and vitality. It ensures a greater range of movement in your joints, and will in turn mean your joints remain healthy and fare better against normal wear and tear as they age.

Pilates makes most use of dynamic, rather than static, stretching: this involves taking your body into and out of a stretch repeatedly, in a choreographed movement. It warms up the muscles so that they respond more effectively. As you progress through the exercises in this book, you should find your range of movement increasing and your flexibility improving.

Key benefits
•Your muscles are free from tension, and your movement is unrestricted, when you achieve good flexibility.
•Your posture will improve, because you will be able to hold your muscles correctly.
•Better blood circulation results from improved flexibility, because it helps the muscles to align more effectively. Improved circulation also gives you a boost of energy.
•Joints stay healthy as you age: they resist wear and tear better if they are flexible and move freely.