Pilates: Great to Burn Fat
Pilates is often thought of as a toning exercise for those who are attempting to achieve a rocking body like many Hollywood celebs.
You may think you have to already be in decent shape to participate in Pilates. In fact, Pilates is an amazing way to burn fat! AND, it has many other health benefits as well.
How Does Pilates Help You Burn Fat and Shed Unwanted Pounds?
The more lean body mass you have, the higher your metabolism and the more fat you burn. So many people who are overweight or obese are in a vicious cycle simply because their bodies are working against them. Too much body fat lowers your metabolism, increases hunger and stress hormones and decreases fat burning hormones and pleasure hormones.
In order to lose weight, you need to change your body composition, but simply doing cardio to burn fat will not be effective. Right now, the excess fat encourages more fat storage and limits your ability to burn fat. Pilates tones your body and increases lean muscle, which will in turn make your weight loss efforts easier! And, Pilates is a low impact form of exercise, which will minimize the risk of damaging your joints.
Pilates turns your body into a fat burning machine. It is a weight-bearing exercise and you end up burning calories long after you’ve worked out, even while you sleep. This happens because weight-bearing exercises require a recovery period. Your body will burn calories and fat after you are done with your Pilates routine.
A Pilates Bonus: It Helps Reduce Stress
In addition, Pilates helps reduce stress. Breathing correctly during Pilates is important and this focus on the breath as well as being aware of your body helps reduce stress. Physiologically, you will experience a decrease in stress hormones such as cortisol. High cortisol levels have long-been linked to weight gain. You will experience an increased release of serotonin, dopamine and other beneficial endorphins. This will have a calming effect on your body, mind and soul.
Your emotional and mental state have a huge effect on your ability to lose weight. Not only do you experience the physiological aspects of stress (negative effects of cortisol), but emotionally and mentally, stress can hamper your weight loss efforts.
Depression, irritability and anxiety can all contribute to overeating or choosing the wrong “comfort” foods such as snacks and other junk foods. Many negative emotional states actually cause you to crave sugar because sugar aids in the release of serotonin.
Additional benefits of Pilates beyond increasing lean muscle and encouraging weight loss are body mind awareness, wellbeing, chronic pain relief, quality “me” time, better posture and increased core strength.
Finally, Pilates is just plain fun! If you’ve never tried it before, I encourage you to give it a shot. Most people who give it an honest effort begin to fall in love with this form of exercise. Enjoying your exercise routine is crucial when committing to better fitness!