When many people think of Pilates, most consider it solely a series of stretching exercises and obscure movements (and that many celebrities tout as the way achieve lean, tone bodies!). However, in addition to toning benefits, Pilates is an amazing way to help your body burn fat, as well as enjoy a number of other healthy benefits.
Simply put, the more lean mass your body has, the faster your metabolism will be and consequently, the more fat your body will burn. Many people who are “dieting” sometimes have the misconception that cardio alone is the answer to losing excess body fat. In fact, excess fat decreases your body’s ability to burn fat and can promote additional fat storage. Therefore, in order to effectively lose fat it is essential that you change your body composition with some type of resistance training – increasing the ratio of muscle mass to body fat.
Pilates can be an effective way to work your muscles in a low impact environment (keeping your joints healthy!), thereby helping you to tone and boost muscle mass. In turn, your body will become a machine that burns fat long after your workouts end. Even while resting, the increased muscle mass will bump put your metabolism in overdrive to burn more calories and melt unwanted fat.
One of the major additional benefits of Pilates – one that will also help with weight management – is stress reduction. Pilates focuses heavily on correct breathing and proper form. As a result, a Pilates workout will leave you feeling simultaneously relaxed and invigorated.
Physiologically, stress reduction naturally lowers cortisol levels in your body. Lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol have been shown to be associated with gaining weight, and lowering your ability to shed unwanted pounds. Moreover, an elevated mood will help you stay on track with your weight loss program. In fact, negative moods have often been found to actually increase cravings for sugar and junk foods.
So although you may think that you are already in decent shape, a great way to bump your fat loss program is a with an amazing Pilates workout. Not only will you benefit from working toward a rock hard body, but you’ll also enjoy additional stress reduction AND a great way to melt some body fat. Plus, Pilates can be fun – and enjoying working out is probably the most effective way to ensure you stick with any routine.