The Benefits of Pilates for a Your Mind-Body Connection

Pilates-and-Benefits WilcoWellness

Something tells us you are on the hunt for a pilates workout nearby

We’ve got you covered! But first, let’s go over the basics.

The 1980s was a spunky, colorful, and cardio-crazed decade for exercise enthusiasts. This quirky period in time was marked by several notable fitness fads that have since lost popularity or have entirely disappeared. That might have to do with the fact that the vast majority of these fads weren’t nearly effective enough to make up for the fashion faux pas that came with them (unitards, anyone?).

When finally the inevitable burnout took hold towards the end of the decade, several slightly more relaxed workouts hit the mainstream, including spinning and pilates. Pilates had actually been around since the sixties when Joseph Pilates introduced what was then called “Contrology” to ballerinas in New York City.

Joseph Pilates had a difficult childhood, plagued with rickets and asthma. To overcome his ailments, he became a student of yoga, martial arts, and zen meditation- all of which would come to play a part in pilates (the method). On the rebound from the eighties aerobics mania, people were drawn to pilates because it was less aggressive yet every bit as transformative in its own way.

 

What kind of workout is Pilates, exactly?

Walking into a pilates studio can be intimidating, given all the fancy-looking machinery involved. But it’s not as complex as it looks, and anyone of any body type can benefit from pilates immensely. In fact, it’s in part thanks to the machinery that makes pilates such a flexible option for people no matter where they are on their fitness journey. In essence, your workout is perfectly adjustable, and there’s no getting yelled at by Gene Simmons to step it up if you want to “party off the pounds.”

Pilates is a low-impact workout that focuses on improving strength, flexibility, and posture, and balance all in one. It can easily be adapted to amp up the challenge and is used for both rehabilitation purposes and as a challenging workout for professional athletes. Like Yoga, there are a limited number of exercises utilized- around 50 different exercises, to be precise. Each focuses on a different muscle group to improve strength, endurance, posture, and balance.

As for those intimidating machines? That machine is known as the Reformer, and it’s essentially a sliding platform within a box-like frame that provides resistance to movement using a simple pulley system. For the most part, the Reformer isn’t necessary, though it can amplify the challenge and increase strength-building. Still, most Pilates exercises can be done on a mat or from the comfort of your home, and the exercises can always be modified to increase (or decrease) resistance, with or without a Reformer.

 

How is Pilates different from Yoga?

The spiritual component emphasized in some Yoga classes can be a turnoff for some people who simply wish to work out. While pilates and Yoga have their similarities, meditation isn’t one of them. Both foster a mind-body connection, but pilates tends to be much less “woo woo” and much more kinesthetic. In other words, it will teach you to become more aware of how your mind connects with your surroundings using your body as a vehicle. That connection is purely driven by concentration and control, though, not meditation.

 

Other key differences to note include:

  • Whereas Yoga utilizes some aggressive breathing techniques that often have a spiritual emphasis, pilates uses breathing techniques for a more simple purpose of maintaining a consistent flow of oxygen to keep muscles relaxed.
  • Don’t get us wrong, Yoga is a fantastic workout, and you can achieve great results with consistent practice. But you’re more likely to see those results faster by practicing pilates consistently as the exercises are more intense and employ more resistance.
  • Contrary to popular belief, Yoga isn’t as easy on the body as it’s commonly made out to be. Without solid form, you can easily stretch yourself a little too far and injure your tendons or make pre-existing injuries worse.
  • If you’re hoping to improve your overall flexibility or the flexibility of particular joints, Yoga is ideal. But if you’re more interested in building strength, look to Pilates.

 

Is Pilates Good for Weight loss?

A consistent Pilates practice can help you tone your body, build lean muscle mass, and improve your posture, thereby lengthening your figure. Pilates certainly has a lot going for it, but it’s not exactly cardio-heavy. So while it is a great workout to help you stave off excess weight, you will probably have more success dropping pounds by swimming, cycling, running, boxing, or another aerobic activity. For some people, that’s a plus! But do keep in mind that 20-40 minutes of cardio each day is the optimal amount to lose weight safely.

 

Three Places to Try Pilates in Williamson County

  •    First up, Truecore in Georgetown offers reformer pilates, so it’s a great place to try those reformer machines if you’ve never had the chance or wish to up the resistance level of your workout.
  • Located in Cedar Park is a special studio called Pilates Island. Instructors at this studio bring over 15 years of knowledge and experience teaching pilates around the world. Besides offering reformer pilates, they also have a number of other equipment options available to vary your routine, including TRX.
  • Last but certainly not least, we also recommend Pilates 512 in Round Rock. Here, you can benefit from either group classes or one-on-one instruction in a studio that is clean and beautiful. With smaller class sizes, you are guaranteed to receive individual attention as well.

How lucky we are here in WilcoWellness to have so many workout options, from indoor classes in studio settings to the many outdoor trails that contribute to the sheer beauty of our community. We enthusiastically vouch for the effectiveness of pilates both in the general sense and at studios in Williamson county. Just keep in mind that while pilates is fun and uber-addicting, you still have to get some cardio in to maintain a healthy heart.

 

 

 

 

Melt Away Stress at Hotworx in Cedar Park, TX

Hot Worx Cedar Park

 

Spring has sprung and summer plans are beginning

Hiking and trekking, beach outings, and returning to family and friend’s events are all in the works.  Hibernating through last year has left some of us a little sluggish.

Luckily, Susan Sandoval at HOTWORX in Cedar Park, TX understands, and we’ve provided the 411 after interviewing her below. Please continue reading for the scoop on HOTWORX and how it offered lessons more valuable than any workout routine ever could!

 

What is Hotworx?

It’s a virtually instructed exercise program created for consumers to experience the many infrared heat absorption benefits. Goers choose between 30-minute Isometric workouts or 15-minute High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) sessions. Classes you can choose from are Hot Iso, Hot Yoga, Hot Pilates. Step it up just a bit and attend a Hot Warrior, Hot Core or Hot Bands session. The great thing is you can mix and match the classes that best suit your needs. Virtual instructors change up the flow of exercises and scheduling on your phone helps to slide in a workout session on the fly. No guilt and no excuses, freedom to set a schedule that works best for each individual.

 

According to HOTWORX, “As the infrared heat penetrates your body causing you to sweat, the isometric postures further accelerate detoxification by physically removing the toxins from your organs through muscle contraction.” Even after you leave the session, your body will continue to burn off calories and detox. Infrared heats you internally, so thirty minutes after your workout, you’re still burning calories. That’s the beauty of the heat!

 

Inside HOTWORX, you will find eight infrared saunas and four isometric stations

An isometric workout is one that involves little movement with high muscle engagement. You choose a position and hold it. For example, Susan’s favorite yoga pose is the Lord of the Dance. As a balancing pose dedicated to Shiva’s dance, you stretch muscles in your chest, abdomen, and thighs. This famous backbend yoga pose stimulates your heart chakra known as Anahata, associated with love and compassion.

 

More workout, less time!

High-intensity interval training, known as HITT, is a form of interval training and gets the heart going! This cardiovascular exercise strategy encourages short bursts of exercise with brief (30 to 45 second) intervals of breaks in between. You should be out of breath by the end of your workout. No fear! The sessions are much shorter due to the intensity level.

 

Go when you want, for as long as you please

Being open 24-hours, our members love that there is no set class schedule. They can come and go as they please. Whereas in other gyms, if you miss your scheduled class, you will most likely not get your work out on that day.

Susan says it’s popular for goers to do a quick 15-minute HIIT and then move to something else to keep up their momentum. Many love the belly burning benefits of core compressors. It creates instant slimming results, enhances calorie burning, and flushes out toxins.

 

Susan reminds us: “All things in moderation, as the saying goes” – including stress

With the bustling, busy times, we tend to rush to wake up, rush to work, rush to pick up kids, and rush to get our work out done so that we can run to make dinner and do it all over the next day.

Advised by her nutritionist, “it’s not good for you to be on the go, go, go!” At HOTWORX, her stress melts away. She says that it’s really hot in there, and she barely moves her feet while her heart rate elevates and lowers stress upon the body. She can pop on a good podcast, watch a show or meditate while getting in a good workout.

 

Thank you, Covid-19, for a new perspective

As silly as that may sound, Susan thanks the pandemic for her newly found awareness of things she didn’t correctly appreciate before the outbreak. She has started to learn new reverence for breathing easier since life was disrupted before opening her business in 2019.

She knows that health applies both physically and mentally. It tends to affect relationships and may even cause psychological issues and raise the risk of disease. Stress can also reduce our capacity to take care of one another. There are many benefits of reducing stress within your everyday life.

 

 It’s so important to take care of your mental health

With a heart full of a new perspective, she realized that she was spending money on things that were unimportant and spending time where it did not matter. She no longer values being caught up in worldly things and plans to go forward to make memories with her family. She plans to create less stress in her life, including during her workouts. And luckily, with HOTWORX, she’s able to do just that!

HOTWORX offers patrons a mental break when stress and anxiety come to be too overwhelming. However, Susan wants our readers to know, “There’s no right or wrong answer as to going to a gym during pandemic times. If you’re not comfortable going, just go for a walk, and everything else will fall into place.” She continues, “It’s so easy when you’re going through stressful times to watch Netflix, but getting out of the house – even for a walk – is so important. You need to get out of the house.”

 

Thank you, Susan, for taking the time out of your schedule to share with our Wilco Family.

We appreciate it very much and encourage our readers to check out HOTWORX when they can.

It might just change your life!