Ever wonder how Madonna looks so great for her age? Or how super model Gisele Bundchen stays so fit? Or even how Lebron James is able to rock the basketball court? If you answered pilates, you guessed it! All thanks to creator Joseph Pilates, it’s not only the middle/lower class who swear by his method of Contrology, but even our stars and athletes under the spot light swear by a regular pilates exercise routine.
I have not given much thought to how pilates could benefit football players. For one, it is a heavy contact sport. But New York Giants former Corner back R.W. McQuarters says he adds Pilates three times a week for his regular workout routine. Apparently he goes because he “feels a lot looser, sleeps better, his hamstrings feel open and hips are more aligned”. He has claimed he hasn’t received a muscle injury since he has started this routine. One of the main outcomes to the exercises is aiding in pelvis and spinal alignment.
NFL wives enjoy pilates too. Wife of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Victoria’s Secret supermodel Gisele Bundchen also includes Pilates into her weekly workout schedule!
It’s not only contact sports or bikini models that have been raving over the method. In a recent interview with Tiger Woods, professional golf player, he admitted that pilates has significantly improved his golf game. Pilates can drastically improve lower back strength; can you imagine swinging a golf club all day long? Twisting and turning of the spine; walking around the course; bending down to the tee.
A large part of the pilates method is to create balance in the body; to help create a healthy environment for nobody else but yourself. Oprah Winfrey, possibly one of the most famous woman in the world, for not only her professional life but her ongoing battle with chronic weight gain does pilates because it feels as if she is “moving out from the centre, awareness, harmony, balance, and control help me embody where I’m going with my life. I’m moving from my core. I move differently. Pilates really has changed my life.”
Another fantastic benefit of Pilates is endorphins. More commonly known as the “Feel Good Hormones”, endorphins are produced without us even knowing what is going on. I’m sure a lot of us couldn’t imagine being evaluated and/or criticized all day long for our appearance, at least pilates helps our strong body improve mental health as well.
In pilates, the breath is crucial both during and after the exercises. Breathing techniques have been proven to assist in childbirth and when practiced in a regular pilates routine, can assist in many everyday situations. When a stressful situation arises, our body will remember the pilates breath and be able to return to the breathing technique, allow one to think clearer and adapt faster to the circumstances faced; a benefit which both celebrities and non-celebrities can all enjoy.
By Ajia Forster
Edited by Amanda Aiken