Stress is a part of everyone’s life. Some of us experience small levels of stress that are perfectly normal for human beings, then we experience greater amounts of stress when our fight or flight response kicks in for our protection.

But some of us experience constant high levels of stress due to work or personal relationships, and those constant high levels of stress often lead to other more serious health problems – such as heart attacks, high blood pressure, and stomach ulcers.

Exercise has always been a fabulous stress reliever, and now, the Pilates method of exercises is quickly becoming one of the most popular forms of exercise for stress relief. Pilates not only strengthen and balance your body, but these exercises can strengthen and balance your mind as well, and the deep breathing associated with Pilates is also quite beneficial in the relief of stress.

Stress causes muscle tension. When people become greatly stressed out, their muscles bunch up, and can become sore. By doing Pilates, those muscles are deeply stretched, which takes away the tension, un-bunches the muscles, and can even relieve the soreness.

Pilates is considered a mind-body exercise technique. This means that it not only exercises, tones, and shapes the body, but it also exercises, tones, and shapes the mind. Many people who do Pilates exercises on a regular basis say that they feel that their minds are more open and freer. Pilates can actually help you train your mind to relax and to control stress.

Because of the stress relief that Pilates offers, it is recommended that you take two or three one-hour classes each week. If work causes you a great deal of stress, try to schedule your class immediately after work. You may even find that doing Pilates before work or other stressful events will greatly reduce the effect stress has on your body and mind.

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