It's been known for some time that a good daily exercise routine can help both improve a person's physical health and also their mental outlook as well. The body just seems to respond well to being kept in tune. But even further advancement in mind/body health has been brought about in recent years through the use of the pilates exercise method.
Joseph Pilates formulated the basic exercises that comprise the system over 70 years ago, and so the system of graceful movements is named after him. Of course, since that time many more exercises have been added and refinements made, but many of the original exercises are still in use as well.
Pilates felt that the mind and body were connected as a unit and that the mind could help strengthen and control the body's health if focused properly. So he worked up a system of movements that must be done gracefully and accompanied with proper breathing techniques to build up the core muscles of the body and enhance flexibility in the process. His work became quickly adopted when he opened his studio in New York City and since then has been carried on and expanded after his death.
Pilates exercises try to build strength and stamina not through aerobic and weight training as much as controlled body movements that use isometric principles instead. They can be performed just about anywhere and the only really necessary piece of equipment is a mat upon which to lie down.
Although pilates may sound like a very simple thing to do, there is more to it than you may initially think. Of course, it can be very gentle for those who have been injured and need to start slowly, but for those who are long time practitioners pilates can be challenging as it calls for stretching almost every muscle in your body as you go through the movements and to even hold those stretches for a period of time.
But pilates has another very beneficial effect on one's health as it contributes to a positive and relaxed mental outlook. That is something that many people would love to have these days, and so they are surprised to learn that pilates can help in this area. But the combination of breathing exercises and total concentration on the movements seems to help many release the worries that cloud their mind from each day's activity as they go through their pilates workout.
So if you feel that you need to improve both your physical and mental health, why not take a good long look at pilates to see if it can benefit you? It doesn't take much to get started, and is not expensive at all like other fitness routines. There is no time like the present to begin.