Recovery is a critical part of sports performance. After we exercise, our bodies need time to rehydrate, repair and grow the muscles we worked and replenish our nutrient stores. Without taking the time to recover, we put ourselves at risk for injury, illness or overtraining1.
There are many ways to incorporate recovery into your current health and fitness routine. You can carve out some time to stretch after a tough workout, or you can get a massage to help increase blood flow to your muscles. You can take a day off from movement, or schedule in some active recovery by taking a walk or participating in a low-impact class like yoga or Pilates.
Pilates is an excellent choice for active recovery. The modality allows participants to work on stability, strength, mobility and flexibility while providing these recovery benefits:
1. Helps Repair Muscles With Low-Impact Movement
When we exercise, our muscles contract and release. These muscle contractions increase blood flow in the body. Blood brings oxygen to our tissues and helps them to heal. So, when we mobilize our joints in a Pilates class, we are helping our bodies repair muscle tissue and address the issues that limit performance.
2. Promotes Circulation Of The Lymphatic System
Another great benefit of Pilates is that it helps promote circulation within our lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is the part of our immune system where the body collects and gets rid of cellular waste products. Because Pilates focuses on deep breathing, inversions and twisting, it helps the body to circulate and expel this cellular waste throughout the body.
In fact, Pilates creator Joseph Pilates described his exercise system as “cleansing” for the body, that it was like an “internal shower.”
3. Allows Time For Mind/Body Connection
Pilates is about connecting breath to mindful, intentional movement. The practice promotes the act of slowing down and tuning in to the body. When we are mindful with our movements, we are better prepared to recover and heal. Through this mind/body connection, we are able to see the areas of the body that might need a little more attention or love in our recovery efforts.
Ready to give Pilates a try? We are launching a brand new program called Pilates For Recovery so you can experience first-hand the power of Pilates. Give thanks to your body with this new series of Pilates Group Reformer classes. These specially-designed classes will help you recover and be your best self. Learn mobility, strength, and stretches to treat your body right. Click here for more information and to sign up today!
Post written by FFC Regional Pilates Manager Kristin Strom.