5 Reasons (Besides 'Abs') To Try Pilates Now

Abs (abdominals) are great. Don't get me wrong... who doesn't love a six pack?

But Pilates is about so much more.

Here are some reasons you, yes you, should try Pilates now.

1. Flexibility is a result, not a prerequisite.

No, you don't have to be a skinny gymnast to do Pilates. In fact, men who consider themselves tight or stiff often become some of my best and most dedicated clients.

After all, Pilates was created by a male boxer and body builder. Anyone, from an elderly person with osteoporosis to a professional athlete, and everyone in between can do Pilates and will benefit.

2. Counter negative affects of sitting culture.

Sitting at desks, sittings in cars, hunched over cell phones and sinking into couches... we are a sitting culture.

Excessive sitting leads to weak upper backs and tight chest/shoulders, a hunched over posture, tight hip flexors, and can cause to all kinds of back, hip, neck and shoulder pain.

Pilates corrects these imbalances and weaknesses by improving core strength, balancing strength and flexibility throughout the body, opening the chest, strengthening the back, and so much more.

3. Up your energy level.

One of my clients exclaimed after a session last week "I was so tired when I came in, but now I feel like I could go for a run! I have so much energy."

Pilates moves all the joints in the body and stimulates the nervous system.

It quite literally moves the sludge out of the system, and results in an overall 'good' feeling that makes people crave their next lesson.

4. Improve digestion.

Twisting, Swan Dives, Stomach Massage and focused breathing...

Pilates has all the moves that help stimulate your digestion on track and keep things moving.

When Joseph Pilates created the system, he put as much thought into improving internal health and organ function as he did on balancing musculature, an idea he referred to as "whole body health."

He believed that breath was an internal shower for the organs, and said "above all, learn to breath correctly."

He also believed in dry brushing to stimulate the system, sunshine and fresh air, and keeping the skin clean and free of lotions, moisturizers, and even clothes!

(Which is why he was also always photographed running around in his underwear.)

5. Get better at life.

The point of Pilates is not to get better at Pilates but to get better at life.

(Read: "Just Say Yes to Life Through Pilates") Whether you are a golf player who wants to improve your swing, or a new mother who needs to pick up, feed and carry your children pain-free, Pilates will help you to experience life with "spontaneous zest and pleasure." (Joseph Pilates words.)

You can meet all of life's challenges and adventures without worrying about stamina, injury, strength or ability. If you can do Pilates, you can do anything.