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Hardik Pandya, the ace Indian cricketer who has shown his impressive skills on the ground, has upped up his fitness level too. Yes, the all-rounder took to Instagram and shared his fitness video, which shows him doing a Pilates workout. He captioned the video saying, "If it's easy it's not Pilates".
The 25-year-old had once spoken in one of his interviews that he draws his fitness inspiration from Virat Kohli, who is also a fitness aficionado.
What Is Pilates?
Pilates is a type of exercise that involves low-impact flexibility, muscular strength and endurance movements. It mainly focuses on proper posture alignment, muscle balance, and core strength. Pilates is named after Joseph Pilates, who developed the exercise in the 1920s.
What Are The Benefits Of Pilates?
1. Increases flexibility
Pilates improves muscle and joints strength and flexibility. It increases the flexibility of the back, hamstrings, hips, front body, and side body. According to a study, Pilates can help minimize the damaging effects of ageing and may improve the functionality of elderly people, which would reduce the chances of accidents, especially falls  .
2. Strengthens the core area
The core areas of the body are the deep muscles of the abdomen, pelvic floor, and back. These muscles keep your back strong, maintain good posture, and help in body movement. When the core areas are strong, the body frame is supported, which means the neck, shoulders, muscles, and joints can relax and function properly  .
3. Aids in weight loss
Pilates gives your body a much leaner look and builds strong muscles. It also tones the muscles, supports body posture, and teaches you to move with ease and grace. Pilates when combined with aerobic exercises aids in weight loss and tones the body. A study showed that obese women who practised Pilates lost weight in eight weeks  .
4. Boosts energy
Pilates workouts allow better oxygen circulation throughout the body, improve lung capacity, and raise your all-round energy levels. This, in turn, pumps up more oxygen to the brain and body, thereby improving your overall health.
5. Improves body posture
A straight body posture is a reflection of good alignment supported by a strong core. Practising Pilates daily will strengthen your core muscles, improve muscle function, create a trim body appearance, take the pressure off of compressed organs, and build confidence.
6. Builds concentration and awareness
The bodily movements involved in Pilates let you concentrate on each and every movement, which makes your body and mind aware that you are aligned and moving correctly, this promotes body and mind connection  .
7. Good for pregnant women
Doing Pilates during and after pregnancy can help with spinal and pelvic alignment. During pregnancy, pilates can aid in strengthening your pelvic muscles and increasing strength and flexibility, which is ideal for the body as it prepares for the strain of childbirth. And after childbirth, Pilates can help in recovering and returning to your normal body  .
8. Reduces stress and anxiety
Pilates is an incredibly powerful exercise that allows the body to relax, rejuvenate, and lower tension. While doing Pilates, the blood oxygen supply increases in the body stimulating the brain to calm down, which naturally decreases stress and anxiety  .
Can Everyone Do Pilates?
If you are older or haven't exercised for some time or suffering from any health problems, it's better to go to a doctor before starting any exercise regime including Pilates.
Beginners can start Pilates with the help of an instructor or a certified gym trainer. Pilates isn't recommended for pregnant women, unstable blood pressure, osteoporosis, a risk of blood clots, and a herniated disk.
-  Geremia, J. M., Iskiewicz, M. M., Marschner, R. A., Lehnen, T. E., & Lehnen, A. M. (2015). Effect of a physical training program using the Pilates method on flexibility in elderly subjects.Age,37(6), 119.
-  Kloubec J. (2011). Pilates: how does it work and who needs it?.Muscles, ligaments and tendons journal,1(2), 61–66.
-  Şavkin, R., & Aslan, U. B. (2017). The effect of Pilates exercise on body composition in sedentary overweight and obese women.The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness,57(11), 1464-1470.
-  Di Lorenzo C. E. (2011). Pilates: what is it? Should it be used in rehabilitation?.Sports health,3(4), 352–361.
-  Uppal, E., Manley, J., & Schofield, A. (2016). Pilates for pregnancy and beyond: a study.The practising midwife,19(5), 25-27.
-  Fleming, K. M., & Herring, M. P. (2018). The effects of pilates on mental health outcomes: A meta-analysis of controlled trials.Complementary therapies in medicine,37, 80-95.