Pilates for Woman's Health
Not only will a regular Pilates practice help you look your best throughout your life, but it will help prevent many of the health problems associated with being a woman.
The benefits listed below are applicable to just about everyone, but there are specific benefits to a regular Pilates Practice for women at whatever stage of life you’re at.
Do you want these benefits?
Pilates done properly, under the careful supervision of a properly comprehensively trained teacher, has benefits for everyone:
- Improved flexibility
- Greater strength and muscle tone
- Improved respiratory system
- Improved lymphatic circulation = improved immunity
- Lowered stress levels
- A trimmer waist and flatter stomach
- Better posture and postural awareness
- Toned buttocks, thighs and calves
- Improved foot mobility and strength
- Improved should mobility and strength
- Toned arms
- Fewer posture related headaches
- Less incidence of back pain
- Increased bone density
- Improved joint health and mobility
- Fewer injuries and faster injury recovery for dancers and athletes
- Improved recovery time after doing endurance sports like cycling or running
- Faster recovery after childbirth
- Preparation for pregnancy and all the picking up and carrying afterwards!
If you feel that a full on Pilates session is too much, there are many gentle Pre-Pilates exercises that can help alleviate period pains including: Pelvic Clock, Angels in the Snow, Tic Toc, Pelvic Rocking, Shoulder Bridging, Pinwheel, telescope Arms, Knees Stirs, Adductor Stretches.
Preparing for Pregnancy
Although many teacher and studios do offer “Pilates for Pregnancy”, most women find it VERY difficult to begin and maintain a regular Pilates practice throughout pregnancy.
But Pilates is the PERFECT WAY TO PREPARE for pregnancy!
Firstly, there are risks associated with strenuous activity in the first trimester as well as morning sickness and nausea. The consequences of something going wrong are, for me a professional, too great to contemplate.
In the second trimester, the body goes through many significant changes and this makes it very difficult to stay in control as the “goalposts” keep moving. In the third trimester, tiredness and fatigue can be a problem.
Child birth is a trauma, but once things have settled down after giving birth, a regular Pilates practice under the careful supervision of a profession and comprehensively trained teacher will help you get your body back.
After birth you’ll need a strong body to cope with the demands of being a parent.
You should have your first post-natal check up to 4-6 weeks after giving birth.
Many women want their “old body” back but too much deep abdominal work can do more harm than good. During pregnancy, the two halves of your stomach muscles can separate to allow the uterus to grow. These need to start rejoining (you midwife can to a “rec test”) before you begin deep spine rolling and unrolling exercises. If not, they my remain separated.
If you’ve had a Cesarean then you might have to wait some months. Zipping and hollowing Pre-Pilates type exercises can be very beneficial during this time.
Pelvic Floor exercises are the other areas to work. There are many Pre-Pilates exercises that help to “find the connection” – but pelvic floor work is deeply embedded in the proper practice of just about every exercise in Pilates. Do make sure that you have a properly trained and certified Comprehensive Pilates teacher.
Other areas to work on are the upper back and shoulders. You will find that you’re carrying greater loads in front and this can stretch these muscles.
Also alignment is important. Hormones are released that allow the connective tissues around joints to become lax. Don’t introduce weights to quickly into your programme.
Menopause and beyond
If you’ve been practising Pilates regularly, when you DO reach menopause you will certainly reap the benefits!
Your muscles will be toned, so you can forget the middle age spread. The work will slow down or even prevent osteoporosis. You joints will not stiffen and your body will remain supple and flexible.
Truly, I have seen women in their sixties look better than hey did in their twenties because of their regular Pilates Practice.
Find out more:
If you have found this material useful, why not find out more by booking a “First Lesson”?
- Online Health Screening
- Postural Assessment whilst you move
- We’ll create your personal programme