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Beginners guide to pilates

Pilates is designed to combine your breathing rhythm with your body movements.

health and fitness Updated: Mar 28, 2011 01:13 IST

1 Stay focused: Pilates is designed to combine your breathing rhythm with your body movements. The goal is to unite your mind and body to relieve you of stress and anxiety, so be focused while you are on a pilates workout and maintain a regular regimen to practice it.

2 Be comfortable: Wear comfortable clothes (as you would for yoga — shorts or tights and a T-shirt or tank top are good choices). Keep in mind that pilates is usually done without shoes. If you start feeling uncomfortable, strained, or experience pain, you should stop immediately.

3 Easy flow: Avoid quick, jerky movements. Every movement should be slow yet strong and flexible. Joseph Pilates worked with dancers and designed his movements to flow like a dance.

4 Don’t leave out the heart: The best thing about pilates is you don’t have to sweat it out if you don’t want to, yet you can exercise quickly to get your heart rate going. Or, because pilates is primarily about strength and flexibility, pair your pilates workout with a form of aerobic exercise like swimming or brisk walking.

5 Doctor wise: Before you begin any type of exercise program, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor, especially if you have a health problem. Also, take an expert’s help when you start on pilates.

With inputs by Raj Kumar Dhingra, Powerhouse Gym