PILATES AS YOUR SECRET TOOL FOR WEIGHT LOSS.
It has been around for over a century but has gained a lot of popularity in the past decades with celebrities and influencers claiming great health benefits like improved posture, overall strength, and body alignment, preventing or helping rehab injuries, and even losing weight and staying in shape. Pilates for weight loss.
Today we go deep into the world of Pilates and look at what research says about its benefits, if it is really all the good it has been claimed, and how can it improve your life and your health and help you reach all your fitness goals if you decide to try a new, and quite interesting, training approach.
What exactly is Pilates
Pilates is a low-impact methodology of exercise designed to train the whole body by focusing on developing functional and sustainable movement patterns throughout the body with an emphasis on core strength by engaging in postures and alignments that will support a stronger core and a healthy movement that will translate to all your other daily activities.
The two most common types of Pilates are on a reformer machine which looks like a big bed or a rowing machine filled with resistance springs, bars, and a moving carriage; or floor-based Pilates on a mat which can be a bit more difficult for beginners to find proper alignments and positions.
Benefits of Pilates
There have been many health and fitness claims about Pilates and a lot of research has been conducted on them, and perhaps the reason that it has survived the test of time so far is that it does work to improve a lot of them. Here are the main ones that are backed by research:
Pilates has been shown to improve the strength and function of core muscles in various studies. Thus helping with back pain, postpartum, and decreasing pelvic floor dysfunction which can even improve your sex life.
Studies have shown that Pilates improves the quality of life by having a positive effect on depression and pain.
It has been shown to help improve posture and conditions like hyperkyphosis (excessive rounding of the upper back and a forward neck). In this way, it also helps with thoracic mobility and respiratory function. It also improves aerobic capacity and cardiovascular function.
It can improve flexibility, mobility, balance, coordination, and proprioception. Which is especially important for the elderly to maintain functional independence and avoid falling.
It can even boost your immunity and improve blood and lymph circulation.
And obviously, as with any form of exercise, there’s one added benefit that might be what we’re looking for in this article…
Pilates can help you lose weight
Like any other form of exercise, Pilates will make you burn extra calories and thus can promote weight loss. But how effective is it really for weight loss?
A few studies show that even 8 weeks of pilates can have a lot of benefits to promote weight loss, lowering your BMI, a reduction in body fat percentage, and reducing waist and hip circumferences. Even though it doesn’t burn as many calories as running or doing daily cardio.
And the added fact is that it makes you stronger and improves your posture which will make you more energized and want to move more during the whole day, Which will burn even more calories.
And there’s obviously the fact that if you enjoy your Pilates classes and they are fun for you, there is a much bigger chance that you will stick to it and make it a part of your daily routine and stay consistent which is ultimately the most important aspect and the best tool to getting stronger and losing weight.
It is also important to note that these fat loss and weight management effects were more present and notorious in patients who also added other behavioral and habit changes to their daily nutrition to ensure a caloric deficit.
Pilates for Weight Loss TLDR
As you can see Pilates is a great form of exercise that has many benefits for almost everyone who tries it. So if you’re interested in giving it a try keep in mind these points:
Always check with a health professional like a doctor or physical therapist who can evaluate you and give you clearance to start a new training regime.
Always start at your own pace and don’t overdo it. Learn the movement, positions, and proper technique first and then gradually increase the intensity to get stronger and make progress but never rush or sacrifice good form.
Try to get guidance from a qualified trainer in Pilates to monitor your performance, make sure you don’t injure your self and suggest the best training program and intensity for you.
If after a few classes you enjoy your Pilates practice stick with it and do it as often as you can, or as prescribed by your trainer. Remember that consistency is the key to seeing progress and enjoying all the benefits it can give you.
However, if it really doesn’t appeal that much to you feel free to move on and try something new. The best way to stay consistent is to find some way of movement or exercise that you enjoy and do it as often as possible.
Remember that the best results come from pairing your training with other beneficial healthy habits like improved nutrition, sleeping more and finding ways to reduce stress in your life.