Legend has it that Joseph Pilates invented the reformer when he was interned on the Isle of Man during WWI. He taught wrestling and trained his fellow prisoners that were bed-ridden using resistance of bed springs. Health conditions were bad and yet – according to Pilates legend – none of the prisoners fell sick during the infamous flu epidemic. So could taking a Pilates class improve immunity? Is this yet another reason for stepping up your regular practice to stave off winter colds and flu?
In his book “Return to Life Through Contrology” Joseph Pilates emphasised blood circulation (for “bodily house cleaning”) and breath (squeezing out “every atom of old air”). When the muscles are stretched, circulation improves. This, combined with the deep breathing associated with Pilates exercise, brings more oxygen to the muscles, creating healthier cells in the body. Take 100 hundred, doesn’t this exercise make you feel re-envigorated?
Furthermore, the body/mind connection, so pivotal in our Pilates practice, helps relieve stress and brings a sense of well-being. Our brains accelerate “the happy chemicals” production: endorphins and serotonin, giving us a natural high. This in turn boosts the immune system and helps to stave off flus and colds.
Do not let autumn blues get to you, stay active, keep moving.