Does Pilates aid in weight loss?

For years now, we’ve all been reading about slender and fit celebrities such as Madonna and Hilary Swank, as well as elite athletes such as Jason Kidd and Martina Navratilova and their Pilates regimes, so it’s become very easy to believe that Pilates is a miracle exercise.  In fact the #2 question we get at our Manhattan Pilates studio is “Will Pilates help me lose weight?”  Truly, the answer is complicated, dependent on a number of factors including caloric intake, frequency of exercise, and overall activity level. 

We would like to shed some light on the relationship between Pilates and weight loss.  There are two ways that Pilates can contribute to weight loss:  1) You will burn calories doing Pilates, more or less depending upon the intensity, and 2) You will increase lean muscle mass with Pilates, which can serve to increase your metabolism.  That being said, when it comes to burning calories with Pilates, Pilates cannot be compared to typical aerobic exercise, as Pilates exercises were not designed to be aerobic in nature.  For example, if you run five miles or take a one hour step aerobics class, you will most likely burn more calories than one hour of Pilates.  That’s not to say that Pilates will not assist in fat burning, however!  Once you’ve achieved a certain proficiency with Pilates, it is possible to maintain your heart rate at a fat burning level.  We routinely wear POLAR heart rate monitors during our advanced reformer classes, and we find that we are able to maintain our heart rates in the optimal fat burning zone. 

But burning calories with Pilates is not its only merit!  Because Pilates is a form of resistance exercise, you will increase lean muscle mass doing Pilates, and an increase in lean muscle mass has been shown to increase one’s basal metabolic rate.  This means that the more lean muscle you build, the more calories you burn, even when you’re not exercising… which is a good thing!!

Perhaps an even BETTER benefit of Pilates is that Pilates will make you look like you’ve lost pounds and inches– and even grown!  Because Pilates flattens your tummy, your waistline looks smaller, and because Pilates improves your posture, you will look taller and leaner, even after just a few months.

SO, Pilates will not only aid in weight loss, but also it will make you look like you’ve lost weight, even before you actually do!

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September 6, 2008. Tags: , , , . Pilates on Fifth Postings, Pilates Posts, UltimatePilatesWorkouts.com Postings.

One Comment

  1. Weightloss » Blog Archive » Does Pilates aid in weight loss? replied:

    […] pilatesonfifth placed an interesting blog post on Does Pilates aid in weight loss?Here’s a brief overviewWe would like to shed some light on the relationship between Pilates and weight loss. There are two ways that Pilates can contribute to weight loss: 1) You will burn calories doing Pilates, more or less depending upon the intensity, … […]

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