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You Asked: The Health Benefits of Pilates

I have received more than a few questions recently about Pilates like: Is Pilates good for weight loss? What are the health benefits of the practice? How to go about studying Pilates?

Pilates is strength training with flexibility training thrown in as a bonus. While both are essential to a well-rounded workout program, it is aerobic exercise that most directly helps weight loss. While Pilates will make you stronger and help you build long and lean muscles, it doesn’t burn up the calories like cardio exercises like running, swimming or putting the miles on an elliptical. Much of the focus of Pilates is on posture and how the entire body works, or not - since Pilates can be about turning off over working muscles, in an exercise.

It has been my experience that Pilates makes everything better from running to tennis, yoga to gardening. Primarily because it strengthens your core in many different ways and positions. These exercises directly translate to real life activities. When you use the Pilates equipment you work against spring resistance, increasing the strength training aspect of the method.

The most affordable way to experience Pilates is to take a group class. If you can afford it, taking a few privates sessions is a great way to jump start your practice. In a private you can really focus on the subtle details that separate Pilates from a lot of other forms of exercise. DVDs are great, but nothing can replace a live instructor and instant feedback.


fashionaza fashionaza 10 years
I go to pilates plus in los angeles, and in 1 month i went from a size 4 to a 2 without dieting, my body looks awesome now after 2 months. It is really worth it!
Linda-McP Linda-McP 10 years
Pilates really does make everything better. I was skeptical at first, but since starting class, I feel so much healthier. I, too, sometimes feel like an evangelist, nancitia, but it's hard not to be when you feel stronger, more relaxed and much more in control. I love it!
nancita nancita 10 years
I never understood the big deal about pilates, until I started a weekly class about 9 months ago. Now I feel like some sort of freaky evangelist. I have always worked out and done lots of cardio, but I have never felt more in shape, and I think pilates has had a huge impact on that. My back feels great, I'm getting stronger without realizing it, and it flattens my tummy like nothing else. Plus, it's very relaxing and good fofr my stress.
tchan01 tchan01 10 years
Loved this post! I'm glad you got all the important details in, especially with letting people know that aerobic exercise is truly the best way to shed pounds. As much as I'd love to think pilates would, it doesn't. :-P But you are so right about Pilates making everything better. Ever since I've taken Pilates it has changes my daily routine. Even when I walk I practice pilates - keeping my abs and butt tight keeps my spine straight as I walk. I think it's very important to keep your abs tight when you walk b/c if you don't your tailbone points up, and your back is not aligned. I sound like my pilates teacher :-P
lanuchan lanuchan 10 years
I love Pilates as well, I really feel like my core is much stronger and my posture is better after doing it. I feel a lot stronger overall too and can do many of the moves that used to be challenging for me. I also find it relaxing. I love Pilates.
studio524 studio524 10 years
My friend turned me onto Winsor Pilates last year and I have to tell you that I absolutely LOVE IT! It works to tone and firm the muscles in the most gratifying of ways. And it's effective. My friend started doing the 20 minute workout and, within 2 weeks, lost 1/2 inch off her waist, more off of her hips and thighs, and all without dieting. On her recommendation, I integrated into my own routine of brisk walking and diet, and went from a size 10-12 to a size 4 from October 6, 2006 - January 14, 2007.
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