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For Educators What is Pilates
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There are numerous exercise programs on the market today, but there is none better suited to the growing teenage body than Pilates.  The teenage years are an awkward time of growth for the body.  But Pilates not only helps soothe the transition into adulthood, it can also improve a teen’s performance in sports, increase body awareness and build greater confidence.

Growing Bodies
A teenage body is a body in transition.  Every system of the teenage body has to learn to adapt to the changes taking place.  Muscles, ligaments, joints and bones are developing at an alarming rate into an adult physique.  Pilates can help create a smooth physical transition by complimenting this growth process.   Through the gentle nature of its movements, by strengthening and stretching the core muscles, Pilates works to create long, lean muscles without developing bulk.  Pilates exercises also help to relieve strain on the vulnerable areas of the body which are aggravated by daily activities, such as carrying heavy book bags or walking to and from school. 

Improve Your Game
Imagine two high school sports teams: both teams are equally matched in height and weight and endurance.  What could give one team an advantage over the other?  That answer quite possibly could be flexibility, strength and focus.  Pilates uniquely incorporates all three of these elements into every exercise.  Greater flexibility improves follow through when swinging a bat, increases reach for a rogue volleyball, or creates a more effective swimming stroke.  Added strength will give a cheerleader extra stability for lifts or a football player more power.   And focus is the secret weapon that seals the deal!  In every Pilates exercise there is an attention to the breath.  Focus on breathing translates well into the focus needed for performing under pressure.  And finally, knowing how to position the body and move adeptly not only works to the teen’s advantage on the sports field, it also reduces their risk of injury.

Body Awareness
As children begin their trek into the teenage years, they begin to take a greater interest in their bodies, becoming aware of the differences between themselves and others around them.  They become more interested in how they “measure up”.  They begin to ask questions such as, “How can I get rid of the baby fat under my arms?” or “How do I create a flat stomach?” or “How can I maintain my weight?”  Through Pilates a teen gets to know his or her body better.  It helps increase a teen’s level of physical fitness.  Pilates is an empowering tool that a teenager can use in the journey towards improved physical health, building strength and confidence and an improved sense of body awareness.

It’s hard to be a teen, and teens can be even harder on themselves. Although it’s normal for teens to have changes in mood, sometimes they can use a little extra help in building their self-confidence.  Pilates can be a confidence builder for several reasons.  For one, Pilates improves physical fitness.  And being physically healthy makes anyone feel good!  But Pilates can also help in other small ways as well.  Pilates leads to better posture, increased health as well as improved focus.

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