So, you are wondering does Pilates work? I can say from my own experience Pilates has strengthened my body and made me more aware of my body's muscle imbalances. I am able to focus in on what my body is or is not doing. When I am moving through my every day activities I am aware of my posture and balance. You too will connect with your body and improve muscle tone and increase flexibility.
So does Pilates work? Yes it does!
My own personal experience has shown me that I have less aches and pains when I am keeping up with my Pilates schedule. I feel stronger and I do not suffer as much from that "oh I should not have done that today" feeling. I am able to perform harder tasks in moderation, tasks that I thought I would never be able to undertake again.
If you find a Pilates instructor who KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE DOING then yes, you will feel a difference within a few weeks.
You will not exercise in the same manner that you used to or lift heavy objects without engaging your core muscles. I do not jerk my body around during simple exercises anymore or strain my lower back and neck muscles. You will learn how to move correctly, awakening muscles that have become lazy or weak. You will be calling on your muscles, once again, to strengthen and support you.
One of the goals in Pilates is to move through the exercises in a controlled balanced manner with good form. You will improve your balance and range of motion.
You will probably be surprised that when you begin your Pilates training that you find it quite difficult to coordinate your breathing with your movements. Over time you will build on your focus and control. You will notice that soon you will begin to self correct and become very aware of your body.
Most of us do not have very good body awareness. It is not until our movement is restricted with pain, or not working properly, that suddenly we become aware of how we are moving or breathing. Pain of course can be one of those signals that alert us to the possibility that something is out of balance and that our bodies are not functioning correctly. If you are experiencing pain during the day or during your exercise regime please always consult with your doctor first. Your doctor or physical therapist is a great resource and they can give you specific recommendations.
Remember to keep yourself hydrated and wear comfortable appropriate clothes.