Exercise is good for weight loss. Pilates are exercise. Therefore, Pilates are good for weight loss. But that is only the beginning. Although I am a ‘hard trainer’ in the gym, I recognize the huge benefits exercise like Pilates can offer for physical fitness and weight loss. But, Are Pilates Good for Weight Loss?
The Starting Point
Start any new healthy habit can be daunting. The further away from your goal you are, the harder and more impossible it seems. If you have over 100 pounds to lose, and have a low fitness level, even walking to the door can be a harrowing experience.
This is the group of people the fitness and diet industry ignores. This is the group which are unable to even try to get better once they are at the point of not being able to physically exercise easily. This group of people, the group I was once in, are coerced by their Doctor to either go on medication for weight loss, or consider weight loss surgery.
When you are at this point, a diet is not enough. You also need to exercise. Pilates are amazing. If I never get asked, ‘Are Pilates Good for Weight Loss’ again, I will be happy. If I do not read another article calling exercise like Pilates not good enough, or poor calorie burners again, I will be happy. For some people, Pilates are perfect.
Why are Pilates so Great?
Pilates burn from a couple hundred to a few hundred calories on average. They are not an exceptional source for weight loss or calorie burn. They do not raise your heart rate considerably. But they do get you moving.
Some people enjoy Pilates, and do not consider is exercise. This is where you want to be when it comes to Pilates. But for people who are desperate to get moving, Pilates are perfect. Pilates are very low impact, and are mostly done on a floor mat. That means you have minimal risk for injury, and minimal risk to strain your body.
If you struggle to move, Pilates can still be done. Pilates will help you improve blood flow to your muscles, and even condition and build them. You also improve your joint strength and flexibility. Another perk is you work your core, lower back, and legs.
These are all areas you need to move well and pain free. This also helps progress a person who is at a level zero fitness level (Or even negative) to a point where they can do more strenuous exercise.
The Origin of Pilates
Pilates were originally a form of rehabilitation and exercise for gymnasts or dancers. If an athlete was injured and needed to work their way up to fitness again, they would perform Pilates or Pilate-like activity.
Starting with minimal impact and core building activity, you build and tone the muscles required for posture and balance. This will help eliminate lower back pain, which surgery often cannot cure and is common with athletes. You progressively add in resistance in the forms or light weights and resistance bands to help strengthen your muscles.
This is how rehab is supposed to work. This is exactly what Pilates are. If you go to a gym and take a Pilates class you will be doing something most likely a bit more fast paced, but it is the same thing. One of the most popular forms of Pilates are Rehabilitation Pilates.
You can find Pilates classes at most hospitals, fitness centers, and recovery centers. If you are starting on your journey to fitness, there is no better way to get started with fitness. Nothing is as safe, can help you condition, and will help you burn calories.
Pilates also inspires Healthy Habits
When you go to a Pilates class, or a Rehabilitation Pilates class at a hospital, you will notice something. People from all walks of life and fitness levels will be there. Plus, at a hospital, you will have trained staff on hand to help you.
At a regular gym, you will be around people who are doing Pilates as a fun activity who are already healthy (Why else would you find Pilates fun?) or people who are doing Pilates for exercise. The people doing Pilates for exercise either need the rehabilitation or they are in poor shape and Pilates are the last resort.
What everyone has in common is the want to be healthy. The athlete doing rehab, the soccer mom who enjoys Pilates, and the instructor running the class all want to be healthier and are willing to help you be healthier.
This will rub off on you. When you exercise, your body will crave healthier options as well. You will drink more water, eat more vegetables, and look forward to exercise as it makes you feel good. After a while, you will be looking for something more strenuous to make you feel better.
Are Pilates Good for Weight Loss?
Absolutely. You may not burn as many calories as another activity, but it is still something. The research shows that Pilates are a poor exercise. That is true. But is a great starting point.
You will not burn thousands of calories doing Pilates, but you will help your core, joints and muscle rehabilitate to be able to perform more strenuous exercise. Pilates will also help you learn new habits which will help you progress to weight loss.
Depending your fitness level, even burning a few hundred calories a day from Pilates can be a pound a week or so. Over a year, you can lose twenty pounds easily when you are very overweight or obese and start doing Pilates. It may not be the most efficient weight loss exercise, but it is one of the best forms of exercise for someone in poor physical fitness.
Find all the resources used in this article and the scientific basis of all our article at The Science Behind Fitness.