A Beginners Guide
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the
most frequently asked questions beginners may have about
Q: How do I know
if it's right for me?
A: This is of course
a subjective question. After consulting with your doctor
as ideally advisable before beginning any exercise program,
you will find that pilates can be done by any person at
any age with any condition. The amount of exercise that
you do and the level of intensity depends upon your own
state of health. Pilates should work with your body and
not against it so pushing your body unduly is not recommended.
Q: Are there different
types of pilates?
A: There are different
types of pilates in relation to two things primarily:
mat work and pilates equipment. Some exercise classes
use both and some use one or the other. Also in recent
years, pilates coupled with yoga or tai chi has become
a popular practice in many gyms and fitness centers.
Q: Is Pilates for
A: Yes, pilates is
for all ages. You can perform pilates exercises when you
are a young man or woman or even if you are in your eighties.
Q: How often should
pilates exercises be performed?
A: The frequency of
pilates exercises depends upon the workout that you are
performing already. As part of an overall fitness program
that includes a cardiovascular workout, pilates mat work
should ideally be practiced 2-3 times a week on a regular
basis for about forty-five minutes to see substantial
changes and results.
Q: Can you do pilates
while you are pregnant?
A: Pilates can be performed
while you are pregnant or recovering from an illness or
a sports injury. Pilates can be performed at any time
of your life, regardless of how little or how often you
exercise. As with any exercise program, it is always advisable
to consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise.
How far you push yourself
with each exercise, of course depends upon numerous factors
such as your current health, your conditions (if any),
the frequency of your exercise, and your experience level.
Pilates is not about stress and fatigue and pushing your
body too far. Pilates is about working with what you have
naturally to your best benefit.
Q: Does pilates
give you longer muscles?
A: Through continued
practice, pilates will create longer and leaner muscles.
Instead of trapping lactic acid in muscles which weakens
and debilitates them, which is often the case with many
exercise programs, pilates encourages muscle elongation,
elasticity, and flexibility. Pilates is used by rehabilitation
and physical therapists to heal sports injuries and joint
pain by specifically loosening up muscles, and repairing
muscle tissue gently.
Q: Can pilates give
me a sculpted and toned body?
A: Yes, definitely!
If you are willing to learn pilates correctly and put
the time in regularly to do your workouts, you will see
over time a definite improvement in your body's overall
health and wellness, resulting in a sculpted and toned
Q: Does pilates
help with daily living?
A: Pilates is known
to have direct benefits with daily life. Through pilates,
you will gain a greater awareness of the subtlety in your
body and the direct benefits of good posture, stronger
back and thighs. You will feel a heightened sense of awareness
about your body and more connection with your body naturally,
as well as greater joy, less stress, and more flexibility.
Q: What should I
A: For a pilates workout,
you should wear comfortable and loose clothing such as
shorts, workout pants or yoga or pilates clothing, tank
top, t-shirt or bra. When you are working with the pilates
equipment, you will want to wear sneakers. On the floor
on a mat, you will be barefoot. Pilates workouts do not
generally make you sweat a lot. However if you are prone
to sweating a lot or you get cold very easily, dress appropriately
in a way using your best judgement so that you are comfortable
and your clothes work with you instead of against you.
Q: How long and
how often should I work out?
A: Joseph Pilates himself
recommended working out doing the pilates mat work four
times a week for fifteen to thirty minutes each time.
Pilates mat work varies by instructor and class and personal
choice, especially when incorporated with other elements
such as yoga or as part of an integrated overall health
workout that encompasses cardiovascular exercise. The
important element of pilates work out is precision and
control. Hence you must exercise your proper judgment
to ascertain your own exercise time frame.