Hello 2019! Whatever your New Year goals and resolutions may be, I bet we can all agree that relieving unwanted stress ranks at the top of the list. In our super charged and fast paced lifestyles these days, chronic stress spawns numerous mental and physical health problems such as anxiety, depression, weight gain, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and can increase your risk for heart attacks and stroke. Who wants that?! Thankfully, there are things we can do on a regular basis that can help reduce our stress levels… Pilates is an excellent way to do just that!
I first got introduced to the practice of Pilates in college and quickly began to realize its many life changing benefits. The Pilates method both stretches and lengthens the muscles in your body in a balance manner while improving your overall flexibility, strength, core support, and alignment. The two most emphasized principles that became a common thread throughout our sessions included breath and mindfulness… which are two of the biggest stress-fighting tools to keep in your arsenal!
Effective Breathing– Learning to breathe deeply and intentionally creates a relaxation response throughout your body and can become a very powerful tool in relieving stress and anxiety. It slows your heart rate, relaxes your muscles, and lowers blood pressure. Mastering your breathing also increases the amount of oxygen flow to your brain, which triggers the release of feel-good hormones into your body.
Mindfulness– The Pilates method is a very mindful form of exercise. It requires you to focus on each movement with intention and awareness. Learning to stay mindful encourages you to focus, stay present, and helps you manage stressful situations with more ease.
Wishing you all a wonderful and stress-free new year! Catch my monthly columns featured in WF and stay in touch with me. @taryntfrancis