Pilates is loved by people all over the world because of its ability to tone your body like no other workout. In just 55 minutes you’ll feel a difference and after a short period of time, you will see that difference you’re making in your body, thanks to Pilates.
There are, however, other things you stand to gain by doing Pilates that go beyond your body looking as fab as ever. You can thank Pilates for strengthening your brain and your mental health as well.
How exactly does Pilates do that? Here, the ways that Pilates can help your brain.
Why Pilates is Good For Your Brain
1. Strengthens Memory
While exercises such as treadmill running are great cardio workouts and can do a lot for your health, they aren’t doing much for your brain. Running is an automated workout — your body will run without you having to think about it too much.
Pilates, on the other hand, is an exercise that forces you to really concentrate on what you are doing right here, right now. This helps to strengthen your memory and your brain, as you are challenged throughout the entire class. Every new move that you learn, every modification that you make during class requires thinking, and that is great strengthening for your brain.
Also, working out is known to pump blood to all parts of your body, including your brain, which means you’ll be strengthening your memory that way as well. It also means you’ll be keeping your brain healthy and fighting against injury.
2. Improves Focus
We all struggle with focusing on things from time to time. We find out minds wandering and the struggle to get back on-task and complete what is in front of us can be real.
Pilates will help with that. Because (as we mentioned above) you have to focus so strongly on your movements, you will find your focus strengthening in other areas of your life. The focus during Pilates is absolutely necessary to stay safe and steer clear of injury — you want to always pay attention to the moves you are making and ensuring that your form is on-point.
You are able to tap into a focal energy in your Pilates class that you can harness to you in other areas of your life, such as work.
When you find yourself struggling to focus on your work, a project you’re working on, someone’s words while they’re talking to you, etc., try to channel that same focus that you put forth in your Pilates class that makes you such a bad***.
3. Builds Mindfulness
For many of us, we spend a great deal of our days just going through the motions and not even really thinking about what we are doing and why.
When you come to a Pilates Platinum class, however, you’ll find yourself constantly reminded of what you are doing, and why you are doing it.
Pilates places a heavy emphasis on breathing and really getting into the mental state where you can push through the struggle of your class to get the Pilates shake and burn and everything you need to get your body looking and feeling the way you want it to.
By focusing so much on your breath, you will find your mindfulness greatly improving. You’ll find yourself slowing down your running-at-warp-speed brain and thinking just about that present moment, rather than running through a mental checklist of what you have to do as soon as class is over.
In a world that is so hard to be mindful in at times, Pilates is something that will force you to tap into your mindful self, and you’ll love the benefits you feel.
4. Fights Stress
Our world today is a high overstimulated on and leaves most people feeling stressed and anxious a lot of the time.
Pilates is a great chance for you to leave the stress at the door and unwind. Exercise releases endorphins, as well as decreases your cortisol levels — both of which will help your mood and your stress.
Since you are always putting your body to the ultimate challenge in Pilates while staying mindful, chances are good you’ll find yourself doing the same in other aspects of your life and utilizing healthy tactics learned in Pilates to deal with stress outside of class.
5. Helps with Depression
While exercise is great for everyone’s soul, it is especially good for the souls of those who are suffering from depression.
Pilates is especially beneficial in this sense for a few reasons. First of all, as mentioned above, Pilates strengthens your brain in a number of ways. It helps you to focus on what you’re doing at the present moment, and helps distract your brain from other thoughts (in this case, depressed thoughts).
Additionally, Pilates is a social workout. You are amongst other people which always has the potential to help lift your mood.
And, Pilates helps to improve your mindfulness, which you will in turn be able to use when you feel your depression striking.