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Pilates For Healthy Pregnancy

The Pilates was introduced by Joseph Pilates about eighty years ago. Many of us think that it is some a new form of an exercise but this is a wrong concept .Recently Pilates has gained popularity in the healthcare industry and fitness.

Joseph Pilates was a child who remained sick most of the time. He had asthma. In order to find a cure for his illness and to improve the strength of his body he experimented on different things.

Because of his experimentation he developed various exercises and concepts which helped him to accomplish his goal of becoming a diver, gymnast, skier and boxer.

When he was in imprisonment in England during WWI, he taught this exercises and concepts to other prisoners. He had learned all this over a duration of 20 years by self study and through yoga, Zen and other physical regimens. He also devised a system of original floor exercise called “Pilates matwork”.

He also nursed many internees who were suffering from physical injuries and wartime disease. As a nurse he designed some exercise apparatuses to rehabilitate bedridden patients. He did this by taking out springs from the beds and made chains of it to create resistance for bedridden patients. This technique has been adopted by many body conditioning styles of today.

The techniques and equipments of Pilates have not changes so much in the modern days. You will notice that still there is use of straps, spring tension, supports for back, neck and shoulders. The equipments have been designed in such a way that it can support and as well as test the body’s ability as it learns to move efficiently.
Pilates first achievement was the opening of his studio in New York in 1926.

He installed his exercises apparatuses and he used more than 300 therapies to improve the health of dancers and athletes.

He had a determination to help others and to improve their health. Through this method of Pilates, many athletes, dancers and physical therapy patients gained fitness and they relied on this method for about 60 years. This was a secret for about sixty years.

Many women’s have misconceptions about the Pilates movement therapy exercises for pregnant woman and for woman after delivery of the baby. The Pilates is a very safe exercise for pregnant women’s to assist in breathing movements and body alignments. It is also good for women’s after the delivery, to improve their shape and tone of the body.

The main focus of the Pilates is on breathing movements. It helps to promote relaxation and to increase the tone of tranverse abdominus muscle. The tranversus abdominus is a  muscle in the region of abdomen.

It is the deepest muscle of the abdomen and its function is to support the lumbar spine and the pelvic region at times when ligaments get relax due to the action of a hormone called relaxin, which is released during pregnancy and nursing stages by the body.

Lateral breathing is also an important part of Pilates fitness. The lateral breathing helps to increase the mobility of rib cage which is very helpful when the range of motion is limited in the region of diaphragm due to the higher position of baby in 3rd semester.

One of the most common side effects of pregnancy os the back pain. The problem of back pain occurs because the abdominal muscles, spine and pelvis have lost much of its strength during pregnancy. The pain will continue to occur unless the muscles and spines are strengthened.

Pilates is the way by which you can strengthen the tranversus abdominus muscle reducing the back pain. It will also improve the postural alignment and will help during the labor for quicker pregnancy.

The research that was carried out showed that through activation of transversus abdominus, the muscles become strong and flexible to aid the birth process. It also activates the pelvic floor. Pilates will also help to solve the problem of incontinence that is experienced by most pregnant women’s during and after pregnancy.

The Pilates is not a very stressful exercise and its impact is also very low. Any pregnant woman can do this without experiencing much pain and stress on lower joints. The heart rate also does not increase as it is not a very rapid form of exercise. Pilates help to prepare the women for child birth by stretching and toning exercises which increases the stamina and flexibility of hip joints.

The Pilate apparatuses are also available that aid the exercise. These apparatus includes: a reformer, which is a moving carriage on a bed, the trapeze table to hang from and the wunda chair which has springs to create resistance.

It is not necessary to have the exercise apparatuses for doing exercise. You can do exercise on mat along with some small pillows or cushions to support the head. You can also use foam rollers, therabands and the magic circle if you need extra resistance.

The Pilates exercise is not the same for every stage of pregnancy. Some modifications are done mostly during second and third semester as the belly increases in size by that time. At this stage most exercise are done seated upright or side lying.

You can also do exercise in supine position but the head should be elevated 30 degrees above the heart with the help of a pillow for about 5 minutes and then turn to the side for a break.

This increases the blood flow and the amount of oxygen in blood. Leg work on the wunda chair is a very famous exercise among pregnant women’s who do Pilates. The method is to sit on a small stool and push the lever down with your feet. The springs are attached to the lever. This exercise helps to activate abdominal muscles and conditions legs. This helps to stabilize pelvis.

Before starting training from a Pilate instructor, it is very important to check if your trainer is certified or not.


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