PILATES vs CARDIO: What works for you?

Posted by on Oct 15, 2020 in Pilates Exercise

Generally, a cardiovascular (cardio) exercise is any exercise or fitness activity that ups your heart rate and gets your heartbeat racing. Cardio exercises involve large muscle movement, working out over a sustained period to keep the heart rate to at least half of its maximum level. Having a strong and healthy cardio-vascular system means that your cells burn more fat for a sustained period, even when you’re inactive. This is because cardio workouts trigger capillaries to deliver more oxygen to the cells in your muscles. Strength training, also known as resistance training, works out the muscles using your own body weight or a tool/item/apparatus that provides resistance, like a dumbbell or weights. The goal is to increase lean muscle mass, which is great when you’re trying to lose weight. That’s because when people are losing weight, they are losing muscles along with it. Resistance training ensures that you retain a healthy level of muscle mass. With Strength Pilates, for instance, think of a body that’s lean and long like a dancer’s instead of bulky and compact like a bodybuilder’s. The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic activity per week. And that strength exercises or resistance training be included in people’s workouts at least twice per week. BIG DISCOUNTS ON PILATES CLASSES IN SINGAPORE How Cardio Exercises Work Cardiovascular exercise is also called aerobic exercise, the purpose of which is to make the heart pump more oxygenated blood and deliver more oxygen to the muscles. Examples of aerobic exercises are those done with cardio machines usually at the gym, or Zumba and aerobics classes. Cardio workouts don’t have to be like the usual workout with the reps and sets. They could be as ordinary as biking, running, swimming, walking, or dancing. Though some people prefer a more structured program like spinning classes, an hour or two on the elliptical machines, or boxing. Overall, improving cardio fitness will make us feel fitter, more active, and less prone to stress. But there’s also a downside to a purely-cardio fitness regimen. It could lead to micro traumas in some parts—like when long-time extreme cyclists develop muscle strains or joint inflammation. For those trying to lose weight, note that high-intensity cardio burns more fat, which is denser than carbohydrate. To burn fat, muscles need more oxygen but when you work out hard and fast, you get more out of breath, so less oxygen reaches the muscles. How Strength Pilates Work What Strength Pilates does is tone your muscles—and reduce body fat, increase lean muscle mass, and burn calories efficiently in the process. You can start out at a pace that you’re comfortable with and do basic routines your body is strong enough to move up to the next level.  Pilates does not over-develop some body parts and under-work...

Read More »

5 Surefire Ways to Get Best Results from Pilates

Posted by on Oct 1, 2020 in Pilates Exercise

More than a straightforward workout, Pilates is about achieving mind-and-body harmony, freedom of movement, and a zest for life. It’s an activity not just for the athletically inclined but, dare we say, everyone looking for a path to health, happiness, and new horizons. At Pilates Plus Singapore, it’s not just a matter of taking classes, it’s embarking on a journey to health and joyfulness, with our certified trainers as your guide. To help you get its full benefits, here are five of our pro tips to help get you started, sustain the practice, and discover a passion for Pilates. (1) Be consistent with your movements At the gym, we can be forgiven for not doing our sit-ups or leg raises uniformly as long as we can push ourselves to complete the prescribed number of repetitions. Admit it, sometimes your last reps aren’t as well executed as your first few. Some don’t even get to those last reps at all! But if you want to get the maximum benefit of Pilates then you must perform the workouts in their entirety and go through the motions with as much consistency and fluidity as you can muster. It’s all about taking control over your “rest” and “effort” of every exercise. At the effort stage, we physically and mentally prepare for the exertion, breathing in as our muscles contract. The part where we exhale, rest, and get set for the next repetition is the return phase. The key is to be consistent with the execution of both the effort and rest phases of the workouts. By doing so, you get the maximum benefit of each movement, giving your body the support it needs to come to rest in a safe and correct way. It’s not enough to get up then lay back down on the mat quickly, you have to do it the right way by engaging the targeted muscles, to do it safely. Everything First-Timers Need to Know About Pilates. READ ON! (2) Maintain the proper form at all times In Pilates, each exercise is part of a set that naturally progresses to the next, so it’s important to be in the right form from start to finish. Mindfulness comes into play when you make every movement count—training both body and mind to function optimally. Always engage the specific muscle group that the exercise is targeting. Think of it as both a physical and mental exercise to help you master Pilates naturally over time. If you want to improve your strength and stamina, try holding the last rep on each exercise as long as you can. When you’re standing, pull your shoulders back and let your hands rest against the side of the hips, not the thighs as this causes you to slump. This way, you’re also developing the right posture and elongating your spine—making you look taller and leaner. Be mindful...

Read More »

From Sedentary to Healthy Lifestyle: How Pilates Relieves Back Pain

Posted by on Sep 1, 2020 in Pilates Exercise

Sitting for hours on end could lead to back pain. So, if you’re looking for relief, exercises that involve stretching, such as Pilates leg kicks and back extensions, could do wonders. We spend much of our days behind our desks, commuting or driving, and watching TV or using our gadgets. What’s more, many of today’s working professionals in Singapore lead a mostly sedentary life, doing minimal physical activity. What’s wrong with that, you might ask—sitting sounds perfectly safe and harmless. Straight up, recent research tells us that sedentary routines and habits put you at a higher risk for some chronic diseases and even premature death. A UK study also found that prolonged sitting is linked to depression. If that persistent ache in your back is beginning to affect your movement, and when you’re struggling with everyday activities, it’s no wonder you’re often in a bad mood. It’s your body telling your mind that it has had enough of sitting. That’s your brain urging you to move! Many of our clients here at Pilates Plus Singapore are just like you—looking for relief from pain and respite from everyday stress. And just like them, you too can benefit from Pilates to move from sedentary to healthy in both mind and body. Bent Arm Circles During Reformer Strength Series Sign up here forSchedule, Rates, and Packages that Fit You Best Particulars of Pain: Why your back hurts Any discomfort in the lower back should not be taken lightly, whether it’s a dull ache or searing pain. In most cases, it’s the part of the spine that curves inward at the base of the back that takes the most impact when you’re seated. The pain you feel is either concentrated in one area or radiating throughout the back along with the spine’s network of nerves, muscles, and ligaments. This is why back pain is described as lower back pain, middle back pain, or tailbone pain. You put even more strain on the back when you’re slouched or hunched over your desk or gadget most of the time. It causes the discs between the bones to compress, which in turn causes the vertebrae to rub against each other. These fluid-filled discs are meant to cushion and prevent damage to the vertebrae when you move. Another common reason for back pain is muscle strain, affecting the lumbar region or the lower part of the back. When you overstretch or twist, you sometimes feel an ache or a stiffening from your back down to your buttocks. If you’ve been feeling more and more of the pain and strain, it’s a good time to take steps to correct it. Beyond discomfort, it could be symptoms of more serious problems with the bones and joints, or even herniated discs and degenerative diseases of the spine. First off, have yourself checked by a medical professional to get to the...

Read More »

The Ultimate Guide to Pilates Reformer

Posted by on Jul 16, 2020 in Pilates Exercise

What is Pilates Reformer? When talking about Pilates, the first thing that comes to mind is the Reformer—the bed-like apparatus with tension cables attached to it. This equipment may seem intimidating at first glance, but it’s no more difficult to use than the usual contraptions at many Singapore gyms.  The Reformer was invented in the late 1800s by Joseph Pilates, who sparked the global Pilates movement. It was initially called the Universal Reformer, one of 12 original devices Pilates designed to help soldiers injured in the war. The bedframe-like platform is called the carriage, which is mounted on wheels that roll back and forth. There are cables and bars attached to the platform, with the overall design intended to provide full-body resistance during exercise. When you pull the cables with your arms and push the bars with your legs, your muscles extend to the fullest position. The Reformer lets you move your body, executing a full range of motion that you usually can’t do on your own, or by using a single equipment. Note, however, that you’ll need an instructor to guide you through the proper movements and breathing, which is essential to Pilates. Without proper guidance, there’s a risk of unduly straining the muscles, and you’re likely to fall back into your old movement patterns. TAP HERE to learn more about the Philosophy of Classical Pilates Pilates Reformer Exercise—what can it do for you? Pilates Reformer is an excellent workout for your core—the body’s powerhouse comprising the abs, lower back, hips, and glutes. At the same time, the exercises target the arms and legs (remember those cables you need to pull and bars you need to push on?) Using the Reformer regularly trains you to develop proper body mechanics and adapt to a full range of motion. And while Mat Pilates does include exercises that work the legs and arms, they’re usually done with no resistance unless you’re using dumbbells or a Pilates ring. What’s more, Pilates Reformer workouts have more exercise variety than Mat Pilates. In short, you’re getting a more comprehensive workout that tones the muscles, stabilises the joints, enhances flexibility, improves posture, and corrects balance when in motion. More importantly, the resistance that the Reformer provides lets you get results faster. You’ll achieve your fitness goals more quickly by using just one equipment instead of multiple gym machines, too. As your body gets accustomed to the basic movements, you can adjust the springs and the moving carriage to higher levels of resistance. In a month or so, you can expect to move from reclined exercises to workouts that require less contact between the body and the carriage. Want to try out Mat Pilates first? TAP HERE Pilates Reformer Workout—who benefits the most? Since a Pilates Reformer workout is heavily focused on full-body alignment and accurate muscle engagement while working the core and limbs too, everyone...

Read More »

STRENGTH PILATES: The Body-Mind Workout that Helps You Live Your Best Life

Posted by on Jun 30, 2020 in Pilates Exercise

“I’m looking for a workout to make me stronger, but I don’t want to look bulky.” We got this enquiry from Isabelle, a 25-year-old professional. She’s been cooped up at home for months throughout the circuit-breaker period, and it’s made her sluggish. Sean also asked, “What exercise is okay for senior citizens like me?” He’s a retired corporate executive who’s worried that he’s feeling “kind of stiff and clumsy” now that he’s no longer as active as he used to be. On the other hand, Nina, 35, is bothered by “(my) bad back. I have these aches almost every day, and it’s stressing me out, especially when I’m in the office.” She’s exhausted by the time she gets home from work. It may sound like Isabelle, Sean, and Nina have different problems, but they’re all in the same situation: they can’t live life to the fullest. A healthy young adult should be brimming with energy and confidence. Senior citizens should still be able to enjoy life and move with ease. People in their 30s and 40s must keep up their strength, with passion and joy. We’ve all felt the same way at some point, regardless of age, gender, or lifestyle. So, we figured we’ll share with everyone the one solution to Isabelle’s, Sean’s, and Nina’s problems: Strength Pilates. And here’s why… To know how Pilates helped our clients, TAP HERE 1. Strength Pilates Boosts Your Energy and Keeps You Fit Walking into a Pilates studio could be intimidating, seeing all that equipment, especially the Reformer and Cadillac. At first glance, it looks like only athletes and fitness buffs can pull off the workouts, but that’s just not true. Pilates is actually a great beginner’s workout, or if it’s your first time to take up an exercise regimen. You can start out at a pace that you’re comfortable with and do basic routines your body is strong enough to move up to the next level. You can do Strength Pilates on a mat using weights or everyday items around the house like a chair or handy containers filled with water. These are low-impact exercises that work on the back and chest, butt and pelvis, and other core muscles you didn’t know could use a workout. Unlike weight training, strength-building regimens won’t bulk you up or make you look buff like bodybuilders. What Strength Pilates does is tone your muscles—and reduce body fat, increase lean muscle mass, and burn calories efficiently in the process. So, if you’re like Isabelle, whose primary concern is her low energy levels, or if you just want to be healthier, look fitter, and feel better, then you made the right choice. TAP HERE to get started on your Pilates journey today! 2. Strength Pilates Makes You Nimble and Move Easily If you’re in your senior years like Sean, or you have a health condition that prevents...

Read More »

Pilates 101: Everything First-Timers Need to Know About Pilates

Posted by on Apr 22, 2020 in Pilates Exercise

Pilates 101: Everything First-Timers Need to Know About Pilates

The long hours behind your desk are causing backaches, and it’s affecting your productivity. You’re in constant discomfort, which sometimes leads to stress and anxiety. If you’ve caught yourself nodding, then your habits and routines must be taking their toll. And now you’re ready to take that first step toward a healthy work-life balance but aren’t sure where to start. You’ve thought about hitting the gym or taking up a sport. But you feel these activities just aren’t for you, and you’re worried that you might not be able to sustain the habit. So, what else is there? To go from sedentary to master of your own mind and body, Pilates teaches you how to: Manage your body, and mobilise your energy.Overcome your limitations, and optimise your productivity.Validate your needs, and visualise your joy.Explore a new experience, and enrich your life. Why Take Classes at Pilates Plus Singapore What Pilates Can Do For You Pilates is a versatile fitness program that appeals to beginners and seasoned fitness buffs alike. The idea of Mr. Pilates’ 34-sequence method is such that it progressively warms the body up, challenges it with exertion, and then cools it down. Its benefits include: ·   Enhanced core strength·   Improved posture·   Better balance·   More flexibility·   Increased muscle tone·   Healthier joints/ligaments·   Aids in weight loss·   Added stamina/energy·   Optimised breathing·   Body-mind harmony Learn more: The History of Pilates Various Types of Pilates Pilates is an approach to conditioning developed over a hundred years ago by its founder Joseph H. Pilates, who first called it “contrology.” Pilates has undergone transitions over the years but maintains its core principles of breathing, control, centering, and flow. Here are some common types of Pilates to help you find one that works best for you: Classical/Traditional Pilates Mr. Pilates first coined the term contrology to describe his sequence of 34 exercises—each flowing to the next in purposeful succession. Each exercise is executed in the exact sequence, in the designated number of repetitions (usually no more than six reps), before moving on to the next exercise. This type of Pilates may also involve the use of equipment. Pilates Mat Exercises Mat exercises are a good introduction to the world of Pilates. These are low-impact exercises that may involve the use of weights, balls, therabands, or rings. However, the movements are still based on the traditional Pilates system. First-timers and people suffering from back pain will benefit most from mat exercises because it focuses on strengthening the core. Reformer Pilates This type of Pilates utilises an equipment called the Reformer, which looks like a bed frame with tension apparatus attached to it. The movements here are similar to mat Pilates but more challenging, given the added resistance from the various springs, straps, and ropes. As such, you burn more calories and build up more muscle strength....

Read More »