Hurray! Saturday 7 May is Pilates Day, so everyone in the country will be out celebrating with stretches and exercises. No?

Over the last 20 years, Pilates has enjoyed an explosion in popularity from sportspeople and anyone interested in improving strength, mobility, balance and general health.

But many others still aren’t clear what Pilates is or how it could help them. So this year I’m celebrating international Pilates Day by spreading the word about its benefits.

What is Pilates?

Did you know that Pilates exercises were developed in a British prison camp for German internees during the First World War?

German boxer Joseph Pilates had spent 20 years developing an exercise regime based on self-study and borrowing elements from yoga and physical training from Ancient Greece and Rome.

In 1914 he found himself in England when war broke out and was interned in a camp for hostile aliens. To help fellow inmates stay fit and rehabilitate after injury, Pilates came up with a series of exercises and physical movements, focusing on balance, control of the body and breathing. After the war he continued to promote his Pilates Method until he died in 1967.

How can Pilates help me?

Pilates is a safe form of exercise designed to strengthen the body and improve mobility and balance. It’s also thought to help increase lung capacity and blood circulation.

There are many benefits to regular Pilates, especially as we age:

  • Flatter stomach and slimmer waist
  • Increased muscular strength and flexibility
  • Stronger pelvic floor
  • Reduced stress
  • Reduced risk of injury and back pain
  • Increased bone density reducing the risk of osteoporosis.

Pilates is particularly good for rehabilitating musculo-skeletal injuries, especially back pain.

It’s important in professional sport and at Petersfield Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic we’ve used it to help patients recover from sports injuries and to improve their performance.

So why not mark Pilates day by booking a session with a qualified Pilates instructor?