How Pilates Can Improve Your Lifestyle in Bristol

Living in a big city such as Bristol can take its toll on our health and wellness. Pollution, commuting, busy work and social lives and of course stress, are all part of living in the city. Unfortunately most of these are part of the lifestyle that we lead and there is very little we can do about it. Most of us spend most of the day running backwards and forwards from one place to the next, working, dropping kids off, socialising and much much more.

 Stress is becoming a huge problem, leading to higher blood pressure, disordered eating, irregular sleep, long hours working and little time to exercise. This takes its toll and can lead to more serious health complications as well as mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

 Unfortunately when we do have time to exercise, the majority of the time we will choose something, high intensity, or something that makes us feel like we have ‘worked out’ – cue spin classes! Whilst this type of exercise is brilliant at releasing endorphins, helping to work out frustrations, and builds good cardiovascular and muscular strength, it can lead to having more stress put upon the body.

 Now I’m not saying to never do these types of exercises, they have many benefits and can play a key role in the quality of our health. However, we do need some exercise that is less stressful on our bodies, that helps us to relax and to work our muscles in a less aggressive manner. I am of course talking about Pilates.

 This exercise system was originally used to help rehabilitate dancers but as the decades have gone on, the method have adapted to our new lifestyles. Known as a mind-body exercise system, the same as yoga and Tai Chi, Pilates can help to level out our busy and stressful lives.

 Because Pilates is non-impact it tends to be less strenuous on our bodies. Instead of working ourselves to the point of exhaustion or failure, Pilates can offer the opposite. It allows us stretch and lengthen the muscles, can help to even out any over active or dominant muscles from work or other activities. This also allows the muscles to recover from sitting for long periods or doing repetitive tasks.

 Because Pilates is slower and takes more concentration than other forms of exercise, it helps us to slow down and unwind. The breathing can help to relax us and lower blood pressure, which can aid in sleeping better. Having to concentrate on the movements can help us to unwind and let us forget the stresses of the day which is important. Pilates can act as a form of mindfulness, bringing our minds back into the present and helping with slowing our brains down.

Pilates is not only a form of physical exercise but also one that helps to manage our lifestyles and daily stresses.

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