Natural Fertility and Getting Pregnant: Pilates
Pilates is an exercise program that touts several physical, mental and emotional health benefits. Aimed at improving overall body muscle strength and flexibility, as well as reducing the effects of stress on the mind and body, Pilates is also an increasingly popular exercise for individuals who wish to improve their fertility through natural means so that they may improve their chances of getting pregnant.
What is Pilates?
Pilates is a unique exercise regimen that is designed to improve an individual’s overall health through the practice of breathing techniques and through the implementation of body awareness. It features stretching and toning exercises, which improve physical fitness, flexibility and strength.
Joseph Pilates developed the Pilates program in the twentieth century, who created over 100 exercises that were derived from yoga. Stott Pilates is another form of Pilates exercise which combines the traditional Pilates method with new movements based on rehabilitation exercises designed for dancers and athletes who seek to improve their flexibility or recover from injury.
Both types of Pilates exercises are designed to strengthen the core muscle groups of the abdomen and back.
Types of Pilates Exercises
There are two main types of Pilates exercises:
- Pilates mat exercises: this type of Pilates exercise is featured in classes at Pilates studios and fitness centers, and includes exercises that are performed on the side, back and stomach in sitting and kneeling positions. Body weight is used to create resistance and can be increased with the use of a Pilates ball or ring.
- Pilates reformer exercises: this form of Pilates exercise is performed using a reformer, a special Pilates equipment. The reformer features a foot press and pulleys for resistance and may also be combined with supplementary mat exercises.
The Health Benefits of Pilates
Pilates exercises boast a variety of health benefits, including the following:
- the development of strong core muscles: Pilates exercises target the abdominal muscles as well as the muscles surrounding the spine, which helps to improve the body’s center strength.
- the improvement of muscle tone and strength: Pilates helps to elongate the muscles of the body, as well as to improve flexibility.
- the reduction of stress: breathing exercises as well as body awareness help to minimize stress and promote relaxation.
- the improvement of spinal and pelvic alignment: By promoting correct posture, backaches are reduced, as is the chance of injury. Muscle balance is also improved.
Pilates and Fertility
Pilates is a beneficial form of exercise for individuals experiencing difficulty getting pregnant, as it can improve fertility.
Pilates exercises help to boost fertility because they reduce stress, which helps to restore hormonal balance in the body and therefore fertility. In addition, as a form of exercise, Pilates promotes the release of endorphins, a type of hormone that produces a healthier body response to pain and stress, as well as promotes higher quality sleep. In this sense, its relationship to improving fertility is similar to that of yoga.
By providing a break from fertility treatment such as assisted reproductive technology as well as fertility tests, Pilates can also be an excellent relaxation method for couples trying to improve their chances of getting pregnant.