Why Adding Pilates to Your Workout Routine Can Help You Reach Your Weight-Loss Goal
There are many reasons why people work out – to reduce stress, increase energy, rehabilitate an injury, improve sports performance, and quite often to lose weight. But no matter what your reason to venture into the gym or to your local mind-body studio, with the summer months upon us and training programs in full swing, people are always looking for alternative ways to reach their workout goals. Whether you’re looking to lose those last five pounds, fit in a bikini, or wear your favorite skinny jeans – it’s important to find the right motivation so that you can get the most out of your routine to maintain a healthful lifestyle.
It’s no secret that more and more people are turning to mind-body fitness to expand their exercise options. With over 10 million people participating in Pilates in North America alone, this unique form of exercise is making its mark in the fitness industry and people of all ages are reaping the benefits. But with the pressures to stay thin at an all-time high in our society – and the old school thought that Pilates is associated with rehabilitation and flexibility still looming – many people still don’t know what Pilates can do for the body; inside and out.
Pilates and Weight Loss
Pilates can be a positive addition to your overall weight-loss program. STOTT PILATES exercise in particular is a musculo-skeletal conditioning program. It’s ideal in combination with some kind of cardiovascular exercise (walking, running, aerobics, aqua fitness, etc.), and a great complement to your weight-training program. However, eating right, drinking plenty of water and working out regularly is the key to shedding unwanted pounds.
Weight loss occurs when the number of calories consumed is less than the number of calories expended. The most successful and healthy way to achieve weight loss is an exercise plan that includes an aerobic component coupled with a strength-training component, such as STOTT PILATES exercise, and following a balanced diet. Combining Pilates with aerobic exercise also offers additional benefits – greater mind-body connection, improved posture, flexibility and functionality.
Aerobic exercise is important to aid in weight loss, but to lose and keep the weight off, you need to increase your resting metabolic rate (RMR). Your metabolic rate is the speed at which your body burns calories when it is resting. The more muscle tone you have, the faster you will burn calories – as muscle burns more than fat. A Walking Pilates program is also a great way to burn calories and a smart way to add cardio to you everyday routine.
The Professionals’ Choice
STOTT PILATES not only focuses on core strength but overall muscular strengthening. Major focus is placed on increasing body awareness in order to ensure the correct muscles are being worked for the particular exercise or movement. The muscles are trained from the inside out.
“The STOTT PILATES method of exercise helps fitness enthusiasts and athletes alike build muscle, increase strength, and prevent injury – all of which help maximize athletic performance and physical improvement overall,” explains President and CEO of STOTT PILATES, Lindsay G. Merrithew. “The goal with STOTT PILATES exercise is to strengthen the postural muscles while achieving optimal functional fitness,” he added.
Whether you are a professional athlete, a new mom, or someone who just wants to walk without pain, it is important that the smaller (local stabilizing) muscles are strong. As these inner muscles become more efficient, exercise programs working the larger muscle groups are designed to build a balanced muscular structure. Hence, you have the development of long, lean muscles aiding in your weight-loss program. By adding Pilates to your regular routine, you’ll start to notice losing inches, particularly in the abdominal area, as there is a major emphasis on abdominal strength.
Benefits of Pilates
Unlike other strength-training regimens that focus more specifically on muscle mass, Pilates focuses on rebalancing your muscles around the joints, and improving your alignment and flexibility. Pilates also focuses on proper breathing, balance and sport-specific range of motion.
Over the past two decades, the original form of Pilates had been refined to meet the demands of today’s fitness-conscious population. When all muscular systems work in a timely and coordinated fashion, participants can achieve large gains in strength, skill, coordination and biomechanical efficiency.
STOTT PILATES exercise improves core strength and balances the muscles around the joints, improving the way your body functions, look and feels. The Five Basic Principles focus on breathing, pelvic placement, rib cage placement, scapular movement, and head and cervical spine placement.
“Pilates assists in rehabilitation after injury and creates balance throughout the entire body,” says Moira Merrithew, Executive Director of Education for STOTT PILATES. “As a result, you can withstand rigorous training regimens and ultimately improve your strength and endurance, and ultimately prevent or recover from injury. This leads to improved performance in anything you set out to do. Pilates is a great addition to any weight-loss routine,” she said.
As an integral part of your weight-loss program, Pilates is a key component to strength conditioning because it focuses on the deeper muscle groups, or ‘local’ stabilizers. This is important when controlling joint movement and in sustaining the stability of the joints that can often be damaged through repetitive and high-demand training.