We often focus on the physical benefits of exercise without giving enough credit to the mental benefits of moving our bodies regularly.
Pilates is an incredible form of exercise that boosts self-confidence while safely strengthening and lengthening your entire body.
If you’ve been on the fence about trying Pilates, read these 10 ways that Pilates improves your self-esteem.
1. Improves Body Awareness
Understanding your body and being able to control specific movements is just one way Pilates can improve your confidence.
When you increase confidence and trust in your body, you can’t help but increase confidence in your self.
2. Improves Posture
There is scientific evidence that the way you carry yourself affects your self-esteem and confidence. Those who are hunched over and “crunched-in” appear and act more introverted, less inviting and timid.
Those who hold themselves tall, with shoulders open appear more open, inviting, and outgoing and in-turn attract more positive attention and people.
One of the primary foundations of Pilates as an exercise is to improve posture and ensure that each exercise is performed with good posture. Thus, you can increase your self-esteem by improving your posture.
3. Improves Strength
Pilates improves your body strength and can also improve your mental strength!
Being able to focus on the exercise, control your breath and coordinate movements requires a lot of mental control and stamina.
The more you do Pilates, the easier the mental piece becomes because you’ve improved both your physical and mental strength.
And just as physical strength translates into your everyday activities, so does mental strength. With the new mental strength you’ve developed, you will have the ability to tackle your biggest tasks and goals with more ease and less discomfort.
4. It Creates Those “Feel-Good” Endorphins
Just like any form of exercise, Pilates also allows the release of endorphins making you feel good!
And when you feel good, you naturally increase your self-esteem. You are more outgoing, more likely to do something nice for someone else, more likely to say yes to a new opportunity and more likely to just smile!
Feeling good fosters more “feel-good” behaviours making it one of the best positive feedback loops.
5. It Helps You Learn How To Breathe Again
This one may seem small, but it’s actually huge!
Breathing is the first principle of Pilates because it is the foundation of every exercise. Learning how to breathe through the exercise can make the difference between successfully completing it or not.
This translates so well into everyday life; when we are hit with a stressful situation, slowing down and breathing through it will help you successfully tackle it.
When we feel like we can work through something hard, we will feel more confident.
6. It Decreases Your Stress
That’s both in your body and in your mind.
Unlike more intense forms of exercise that can elicit a “fight or flight” stress response in your body, Pilates gentle lengthening and strengthening allows you to get the same benefits of traditional forms of exercise without the same stress on the body.
With less physiological stress hormones running through our bodies, we can feel more relaxed and happier with ourselves and our lives.
7. It Encourages “Mindful Movement”
And that will encourage more overall mindfulness.
When we are more mindful of how our body moves, we become more mindful of our surroundings and our thoughts; letting go of negativity, self-doubt, and distractions.
Once we move from the class setting into the outside world, we naturally bring these lessons with us, sometimes applying them without even being conscious of it.
Just like when we strengthen a muscle, the more we practice mindfulness, the better we get at it.
8. It Improves Your Health
The right kind of exercise for your body can improve your health. Pilates is a good exercise for everybody because it is gentle and can be adapted for anyone, no matter what your fitness and ability level.
When you improve your physical health, you also improve your mental health.
9. It Improves Pelvic Floor Strength
Worrying about unexpected leaks from laughing or sneezing is not a normal part of life, and you can overcome it!
Pilates focuses on proper pelvic positioning and encourages us to activate our pelvic floor muscles through a lot of the exercises, strengthening those muscles we wouldn’t have otherwise even thought (or known about).
So say goodbye to peeing your pants in public places and say hello to your new found bladder control and confidence! Go ahead, buy the white jeans!
10. It Gives You A Chance To Socialize
Ok so this one isn’t specific to Pilates, but it’s still true!
Just being around other people for 1 hour is enough to improve your mental health, decrease your anxiety and spike those feel-good hormones like dopamine and serotonin.
And if you actually talk to the other people, that’s even better! Hell, you might even make new friends. And let’s face it, it can be hard to make new friends these days.
Having friends makes you happy. And happy people are more confident. And confidence attracts more people and more friends. It’s a vicious cycle! 😉
There you have it, 10 ways Pilates can improve your self-esteem. So what are you waiting for?
Try Pilates today for FREE on your 10-day free trial @ www.pilatesondemad.ca