Indians have become increasingly fitness conscious with increased knowledge about health that is obtained through the plethora of information available at one’s fingertips online, or by traveling around the world and observing how people from different cultures keep themselves strong and fit. Although the idea of being healthy is to increase the quality of life, good health often means looking good, which is a by-product nobody would mind!
Apart from healthy eating, good sleep and a happy mind, one of the most important aspects of good health is physical activity and fitness. There are a plethora of options for those interested in exercise, the hard part usually is getting yourself to make the commitment and most importantly, to stick to it!Going for a walk or run in the park is still the cheapest and easiest form of exercise, apart from going to the gym or practicing yoga in the comfort of your home.
There is another form of exercise that is becoming increasingly popular in India, mainly, thanks to Bollywood celebrities like MalaikaArora, Katrina Kaif, Alia Bhatt, DeepikaPadukoneand Jacqueline Fernandez. Pilates is a form of fitness developed by a German man called Joseph Pilates, and is very popular in the West. He believed that Pilates is a mind and body exercise and practicing the exercise helps improve the health of both. Pilates’ main focus in on the core, and is intended to increase flexibility, endurance and strength, rather than build bulk. This is the main reason why it is a good form of exercise to supplement one’s gym routine, and is regularly used by film stars and athletes, since it give one a long, lean and physically strong look. There are nine principles of Pilates which are: concentration, centering, control, flow, postural alignment, precision, relaxation and stamina.
Pilates exercises can be done on a mat or using special equipment, such as the Reformer, the Cadillac and Megaformer.
The reformer is probably the most popular Pilates equipment. The reformer can look quite intimidating for the novice user, and can mislead to be very confusing, however it is not only easy to use, but with the right guidance and technique, can create dramatic transformations in your body by focusing on the small inner muscles that no other form of exercise can target. The reformer is extremely versatile and can be used to perform a wide variety of exercise be it sitting, standing, lying down or even upside down! It is said that using the reformer regularly can help improve posture and alleviate back pain.
When one hears the word cadillac, the first image that comes to mind is a fancy car with dark windows! However, the PilatesCadillac is equally impressive. Like the reformer, the cadillac can look overbearing and intimidate, since it resembles a torture chamber. The Cadillac gives the user a great stretch and can work on muscles by isolating them. It is said that Joseph Pilates invented the Cadillac to allow bed-ridden patients to exercise.
The Megaformer is probably the most evolved Pilates equipment, and is the reason behind most hot bodies in Hollywood like Kim Kardashian, Sofia Vergara and Alessandra Ambrosio. Even the US First Lady Michelle Obama is said to use this machine to keep herself fit. Designed by Sebastian Lagree, the Megaformer was developed with the idea to approach Pilates in a more intense manner.
The results one gets with Pilates are miraculous when supplemented with regular workouts at the gym and a healthy diet.