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Meghan Markle has been practising yoga since she was a little girl, but her passion for Pilates is thought to have developed later in life. The Duchess of Sussex continued to attend sessions when she was based in London, reportedly attending classes at Heartcore.
There are many benefits when it comes to practising Pilates, according to a fitness expert. Emily Rutherwood, the Studio Manager and Trainer at FS8 Oxford Circus, the revolutionary low-impact fitness movement, offered her expert advice exclusively to Express.co.uk on the advantages royal fans can gain by practising the exercise.
She said: “The workout Meghan Markle loves includes benefits of Pilates you don’t already know about. Described by Meghan as ‘the best thing for your body’, Pilates has gained huge popularity in recent years, and it’s clear to see why.
“Its slow, controlled movements offer a myriad of health and fitness rewards that are incomparable. Whether you opt for the reformer or stick to the mat, you are sure to walk away feeling better than when you got there.
“Why is Meghan such a fan of this method of exercise?” the expert asked. Apparently, it’s because of the “feel-good mood” the exercise gives you.
Ms Rutherwood suggested: “As the days get colder and darker during the winter months, our moods may start to dip. One way of boosting mood is taking up Pilates, as Pilates triggers the release of feel-good endorphins as well as serotonin, the happy hormone.
“As a result, Pilates can improve our self-esteem and boost mood. Doing Pilates in a group class brings can also boost mood as this creates a sense of togetherness.
“Working out in a group reignites social connection through building relationships, which helps reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation that people often feel during the winter months.”
A second reason why Meghan believes Pilates is such a good exercise is reportedly because of its “immunity-boosting properties”. The expert added: “Winter is commonly known as the dreaded cold and flu season when peoples’ immune systems aren’t operating at their optimum level.
“Regular participation in Pilates is proven to improve immunity via mechanical and physiological processes. The emphasis on breathing and mindful movement encourages fight or flight sympathetic nervous system to quiet, reducing stress which research shows can boost immunity.”
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex has an amazing figure which can be seen in all of her incredible outfits. Ms Rutherwood argues that Pilates “gives you rock-hard abs”.
She opined: “A lot of exercises used in Pilates are all about the abs, but that’s not all it does. Most Pilates moves require proper alignment and challenge your stability to stay balanced, which helps fire up your midsection to give you rock-hard abs.
“A study recently revealed that after just 12 weeks of Pilates, a majority of people had improved core strength.”
According to Ms Rutherwood, Pilates is also “a great way to unwind”, which would be perfect for Meghan. She noted: “Whilst exercise helps to release feel-good endorphins, making you feel happy and energised after a workout, they are not always necessarily relaxing.
“However, with a Pilates class, not only will you feel energised, but you will also feel relaxed as opposed to exhausted, and studies have even found that it can boost mental clarity and encourage positive thoughts.
“The emphasis on precision of movement that includes breath, rhythm and flow, means you have no choice but to leave your stress and the door and have some time just for yourself.
“At FS8 Oxford Circus, they offer classes in the morning, lunchtime and evening, so no matter how busy you are, it is easy to find some time to set aside 50 minutes just for yourself, to unwind and relax.”
Finally, the fitness expert acknowledged that Meghan Markle’s favourite exercise Pilates is not for the faint-hearted because it is “a full-body workout”.
She stated: “Pilates trains the body as an integrated whole, focusing on core, lower body, and upper body strength as well as flexibility and posture.
“Attention to core support and full-body fitness, including the breath and the mind, provide a level of integrative fitness that is hard to find elsewhere.
“It is also the reason that Pilates is popular in rehab settings, as well as with athletes who find that Pilates is a great foundation for any kind of movement they do.”
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