- Hannah Aylward
Can Pilates Support Healthy Weight Loss?
Pilates is a full-body, low-impact exercise that strengthens muscles while improving both postural alignment and flexibility. I mean, could you want anything more? The practice focuses largely on the core, with precise movements and breath control. It strengthens and stabilizes your core, so that you can move efficiently while improving your posture, flexibility, and mobility.
Don’t be fooled. Like yoga, pilates can look effortless and easy. However, the precise movements really challenge the body and improve posture, balance, and core strength. Pilates is a mind-body exercise. This means that muscle engagement becomes even stronger because those practicing learn to “fire” the right muscles.
Pilates offers tons of benefits to your overall health, and it can also help with weight loss.
We often overlook the fact that weight loss is just as much a mental and soulful experience as it is a physical one. Aligning mind, body, and soul is the key to sustainable health. As a mind-body exercise, pilates helps you establish a greater connection to how you truly feel. This will support your weight loss transformation as you begin to cultivate a deeper connection to your mind and body, which will ultimately lead to healthier decisions.
Oftentimes, we can leave the gym exhausted and burnt out, making us never want to return. The bootcamp classes can seem highly effective at first, but if they don’t stick, then weight loss won’t be a result. We have to find a happy balance between a supportive, effective, and sustainable regimen.
In a physical sense, pilates burns calories and helps increase muscle strength, which can encourage safe and sustainable weight loss. Pilates helps you tone your muscles, especially around your midsection. To actually lose weight, you need the physical capability to do exercises. Pilates will help you to build needed strength, toning your core and increasing flexibility. In addition, pilates can help alleviate back pain, which can make exercising easier and more comfortable, allowing you to perform more exercises with increased comfort and less difficulty.
It is also adaptable to many different fitness levels and applicable to all. With thousands of possible exercises and modifications, Pilates workouts can be tailored to individual needs. This makes it easier to show up consistently for the practice, leading to long term weight loss.
Like yoga, pilates deeply interconnects the physical and mental bodies. Joseph Pilates, the inventor of pilates, was adamant that pilates included "the complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit." When we exercise in a connected and tuned in state, the body and mind unite to bring about the most benefit from each exercise.
This also helps us bring a positive attitude to the process of working out and losing weight. If you have a better attitude going into the process of losing weight, you’re likely to not give up and lose more weight in the end.
All in all, pilates is a great tool to have in your toolbox when trying to lose and/or maintain your weight. It promotes long, lean muscles and mind-body awareness that will lead to healthier decisions in the long run. It’s also gentle and effective enough to continue for life, so you won’t have to ditch it years down the line.