One of the most popular methods for keeping fit in today’s society is Pilates. Developed in the late 20th century, it is a method of exercise that is designed to work on the flexibility of the human body – a major point of difficulty for many, who through jobs which involve being in a fixed position for much of the day lose a lot of their body’s suppleness and can find themselves with back and neck problems. Something which any sufferer can tell you really infringes your quality of life. If you can’t move quickly, you lose out on a lot of fun and in the meantime you will have trouble with even the most basic motor functions.
At its most basic level, Pilates is lying on a big beach ball doing exercises. To its adherents it is a lot more than that. Its inventor, Joseph Pilates designed it with the principle of mind over matter at its core, allowing the body and the mind to fuse, and letting the body move with grace and balance in a way that other exercise regimes did not address. Along with breathing exercises, Pilates encourages the body to flush away waste toxins that are linked with fatigue. The overall effect of the exercise regime that is involved in Pilates is to improve the individual on a number of levels.
It certainly seems to work. Pilates is growing in popularity all the time, and there are few gyms or leisure centers in the world that do not have a Pilates group operating at least once a week. At its best when associated with other exercise regimes, Pilates is something that has really taken off, and with a lot of satisfied customers, it would appear that Joseph Pilates was on to something when he designed it. Born in 1880, and plagued by illness and poor fitness as a child, by the age of 14 Pilates was posing for anatomical charts as an example of what the body could look like with the right exercise regime, and when he died he was 87 years of age. So he was doing something right.