Whatever your New Year goals and resolutions may be, I bet we can all agree
that relieving unwanted stress ranks at the top of the list. In our super
charged and fast paced lifestyles these days, chronic stress spawns numerous
mental and physical health problems such as anxiety, depression, weight gain, cardiovascular
disease, high blood pressure, and can increase your risk for heart attacks and
stroke. Who wants that?! Thankfully, there are things we can do on a regular
basis that can help reduce our stress levels… Pilates is an excellent way to do
I first got
introduced to the practice of Pilates in college and quickly began to realize
its many life changing benefits. The Pilates method both stretches and
lengthens the muscles in your body in a balance manner while improving your
overall flexibility, strength, core support, and alignment. The two most
emphasized principles that became a common thread throughout our sessions included
breath and mindfulness… which are two of the biggest stress-fighting tools to
keep in your arsenal!
Effective Breathing– Learning to breathe deeply and
intentionally creates a relaxation response throughout your body and can become
a very powerful tool in relieving stress and anxiety. It slows your heart rate,
relaxes your muscles, and lowers blood pressure. Mastering your breathing also
increases the amount of oxygen flow to your brain, which triggers the release
of feel-good hormones into your body.
Mindfulness– The Pilates method is a very
mindful form of exercise. It requires you to focus on each movement with
intention and awareness. Learning to stay mindful encourages you to focus, stay
present, and helps you manage stressful situations with more ease.
all a wonderful and stress-free new year! Catch my monthly columns featured in
WF and stay in touch with me. @taryntfrancis
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.