Can Pilates Help With Weight Loss?
Pilates is a type of exercise that engages the entire body.
It tends to focus more on the core muscles and it certainly can help to strengthen the lower back, abdomen, buttocks, and obliques.
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But, it provides many other benefits, as well. It can significantly improve endurance, flexibility, and strength while at the same time, helping an individual to maintain good posture and balance.
Another benefit of Pilates is how it can help with weight loss. Some people use Pilates in order to lose weight, and it can be effective if it is done in the proper way. Pilates builds up the muscles in the body, adding to the lean muscle mass. In turn, this helps to burn calories on an ongoing basis, including the times in which you aren't actually working out.
Understanding how to exercise with Pilates properly can go a long way in helping you to get the most out of what the program has to offer. In addition, there are also other aspects and lifestyle choices that can make a difference in the weight loss you are experiencing.
What Are Pilates?
Pilates is an exercise program that is very similar to yoga, although there are some significant differences between the two.
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For the most part, Pilates uses the weight of the body as resistance. At times, it may also use various other items, including Pilates balls, light hand weights, and Pilates mats.
It is something that many people do at home but it is often better done with the assistance of a personal trainer in a local Pilates class or the very least, using an instructional video or website.
Doing so will likely improve the amount of weight loss that you experience. Why?
The body has a natural tendency to avoid pain whenever possible. So, it is likely that those who are doing Pilates without any additional assistance will not get their form just as it should be.
A session with a personal trainer or even using some online videos will show you that small differences in your Pilates movements will make a large difference in their effectiveness.
You will find that you are losing more weight, experiencing better posture and even have more energy.
Pilates & Stress Relief
Another benefit of Pilates that works well with weight loss is stress relief.
Exercise is a great way to get rid of some of the pent-up anxiety that most of us carry around from day to day.
It helps to calm the mind and prepare it for another day of life. This reduction in stress can actually go a long way in helping with your weight loss efforts. When we are stressed, our body releases cortisol, which is also known as the "stress hormone." It is a type of hormone that causes the body to hold onto weight and can even increase your appetite, making it doubly hard to lose weight. Pilates helps to overcome this problem in an amazing way.
The primary reason why Pilates helps with weight loss is that it builds lean muscle mass in the body.
As the amount of lean muscle mass in the body increases, it also raises the basal metabolic rate (BMR). As a rough estimation, 1 pound of muscle will burn approximately 50 calories every day, regardless of whether you are working out or resting. If you are able to add 10 pounds of lean muscle to your body (quite possible with Pilates), you will be burning 500 calories every day.
If you do the math, that is approximately 1 pound of weight loss every week.
Another way that Pilates can help with weight loss is the cardiovascular exercise it provides. In most cases, Pilates is not more of an anaerobic type of exercise, but there are also short bursts of intense activity that can get the heart pumping. Depending upon your weight and physical condition, you could burn up to 300 calories or more during a typical Pilates workout. That will also add up significantly at the end of the week.
Taking Weight Loss Even Further
Pilates is an excellent way to lose weight, but there are also additional factors that can take things to the next level. When you focus in on two different areas of your life, your weight loss can be significant and permanent.
One important factor for losing weight is diet, and this can go hand-in-hand with your Pilates workout routine. Eating a healthy diet that focuses on whole foods, and that puts you at a calorie-deficit which will help to move the weight loss needle in the right direction quickly. There are many different diets, but the best diet is one that is healthy and balanced.
Sleep is also an important factor that can make a difference in your weight loss efforts. If you're not getting enough healthy sleep every night, your body will naturally hold on to fat cells and you will find that you are lacking in many different areas, including motivation. Different people need different amounts of sleep every night, but you should get enough that you wake refreshed in the morning.