When you’re trying to stay healthy or get into better health, there are few things worse than injuring yourself in the process. Not only do you have to deal with the pain itself, but depending on the severity of the injury, your health goals could be delayed for months, if not years.
Beyond just an unfortunate accident, physical injuries usually occur for one of several main reasons. One is simply having poor or incorrect form when trying to perform an exercise, placing undue stress on a joint or muscle that it shouldn’t be working against. Another issue is having a particular joint or muscle group that is weaker, either because of poor posture or other health issues that have caused that body part to be underdeveloped. All of these increase the risk of injury, which then can cause a cascade effect across the rest of the body.
That’s one of the incredible things about Pilates—it’s designed to not only avoid injury (when done correctly) but it also strengthens you in ways that helps you ward off injury in many other activities or sports. Plus, if you’ve already experience an injury and are trying to recover strength and flexibility, Pilates is renowned for its rehabilitative effects.
For one thing, Pilates is low-impact, meaning you won’t be suffering from inflammation or overuse of any particular joint or muscle. It also promotes high movement control, meaning you aren’t flailing about, but are guiding your body through precise motions at all times. The flexibility and strength Pilates provides contributes directly to more dynamic physical control and awareness, lessening the chance of future injury.
Pilates minimizes dangerous exercise tendencies, such as too-fast breathing, lack of concentration or control, loss of alignment, and jerky motions. All of these are warning signs that a person might be pushing themselves closer to potential injury. There’s also the unfortunate mentality of “no pain, no gain” when it comes to fitness. Now, does that mean one should give up an exercise the moment any level of discomfort comes into play? Of course not. There’s a time and place for intensity within a workout, but this doesn’t mean suffering unnecessary pain or ignoring mental and physical alerts that might indicate a joint needs time to rest and recover.
Have you suffered injury in the past that kept you from achieving your health goals? Have you considered whether Pilates might be the answer to get you back on track in a safe, yet effective manner?