Today is National Stress Awareness Day. To coincide with it, we’ve put together the benefits of Pilates for stress relief.
Stress is something all of us have experienced at some point in our lives. In small doses (and despite feeling unpleasant) stress can be helpful rather than harmful as it enables us to rise to many challenges.
Unfortunately, many of us suffer from constant stress brought on by day-to-day things like work deadlines or relationship worries. When stress is this frequent it can have a disastrous effect on our mental and physical health. This is because the stress response raises our blood pressure and suppresses the immune system. Long-term stress is also linked to anxiety and depression.
But, when it comes to stress management, there are ways you can help yourself. For example, using meditation or taking up a form of mindful movement can be a good idea. Practising these methods regularly can help you feel calmer and respond to stressful situations in a healthier way.
1. Mindful movement
Science has proved the benefits of mindfulness and exercise for relaxation. When these movement and meditation are combined, the positive effects are even more profound. Active meditation is also perfect for those who struggle with traditional forms of meditation that require you to stay still.
This is why Pilates – a form of mindful movement – is so effective for stress relief.
Rather than rushing through the movements to get your heart pumping and muscles burning, Pilates forces you to move slowly and move with intention. This brings your awareness to your body as it moves and how it feels in the moment.
Practising mindful movement can make you more present, which can help you manage stress more effectively. To get these benefits, however, it’s important you practise regularly. This is why committing to a regular mat, reformer class or 1-2-1 session is a good idea.
If you’re struggling with stress and anxiety, Pilates is a great place to start. Other avenues to explore include the mental health charity www.mind.org and meditation apps, such as Calm or Headspace.
Before participating in any exercise program that may be described and/or made accessible in or through our website, we strongly recommend that you consult with a physician or other healthcare provider.
This site offers health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.