1. You can do it on your lunch break. Even though it works you hard, it does not leave you spent and sweaty, so you can easily fit it into a busy lifestyle.
2. A flat belly. Most ab exercises focus on the superficial abdominals that won’t give you a flat stomach. Pilates targets the deep core, which leads to a flat tummy, a narrow waist, and—bonus!—a healthy spine.
3. It makes you think. Pilates is a surprisingly intellectual method of exercise. It requires one to focus on how one’s body is moving. This keeps the mind engaged and challenged. Studies have shown it can even aid in the prevention of Alzheimer’s.
4. It’s a pain killer. Pilates is great for injury prevention because it focuses on the muscles that support and protect joints and the spine, restoring proper body mechanics.
5. You’ll stand up straighter. Great posture makes us look younger and more attractive, and it actually keeps us balanced and youthful.
6. No pretzel-like contortions necessary. A Pilates routine can be modified to accommodate injuries or can be amped up for the serious athlete and everyone in between.
7. It’s a go-to workout. You can do it on the go, any time, any place. Many Pilates exercises can be done with just body weight and no props. It also works the muscles that we might not hit in other activities, making it an ideal complement to running, tennis, biking, and other athletic pursuits.
8. It’s a lifelong practice. Pilates is so safe and balancing for the body that you can begin at any age and continue into your later decades. It won’t wear down the body, and you don’t have to give it up as you age.
9. It builds strength and flexibility in an efficient and effective way. Each Pilates exercise both stretches and strengthens through moves that work the muscles while they are lengthening.
10. You get in touch. Pilates can deepen the mind-body connection, which can improve many other facets of our lives such as interpersonal relationships, stress management, and eating habits.
Erika Bloom is an NYC-based Pilates guru with studios that bear her name on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, The Hamptons, and Greenwich, Conn. To learn more about Erika and her unique method visit erikabloompilates.com.