Pilates is one of the most popular types of exercises and has been heralded by numerous celebrities as their tool for staying trim and fit. This type of exercise is known to improve physical as well as mental well-being while improving flexibility and strengthening muscles at the same time. Controlled movements are performed on an exercise mat as well as with exercise equipment to provide these benefits. Before this type of exercise became popular with stars and celebrities, it was favored by gymnasts and dancers because of the flexibility and muscle strengthening benefits it provided.

Pilates was originally designed to helped rehabilitate patients during World War I who were immobile. Today, practioners of pilates claim it helps them to become less susceptible to injury and enjoy better posture. Several of the mat Pilates exercise methods are based on forms of yoga as well as martial arts. It was the belief of the creator of pilates, Joseph Pilates, that mental health and physical health were connected. The principles of pilates were designed to focus on concentration, breathing and control.

The most popular type of pilates today are the mat exercises; which use the body’s own weight for resistance. This makes the exercise very easy to be performed by just about anyone, anywhere. Even if you travel, it is easy to stick with your exercise routine because all you have to worry about bringing with you is an exercise mat, which can be easily folded and packed.

The best way to start pilates is slow and easy with some of the more basic exercise. This will allow you to gradually build up to additional exercises that are more advanced. Never try to start off with advanced positions first as this could lead to injury.

You may find it helpful to get started by signing up for an introductory pilates class. Most health clubs and gyms are offering them now that pilates has grown so much in popularity. Be aware you do not need any particular type of exercise wear to practice pilates; the main rule is to simply be comfortable.

One of the most important aspects of proper pilates is remaining focused. This will allow you to unite your breathing with the movements of your body. Always try to keep your movements slow and flowing. Fast, erratic movements should be avoided.

After a few sessions with a trained instructor, you’ll probably be ready to practice pilates on your own; and that is one of the best benefits of this type of exercise. After a little proper coaching, this is one exercise that you don’t have to rely on special equipment or even a trainer to keep up with.

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