Weight Loss with HEALTHeME

Weight loss and good health made simple

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Top way to train your abs: Pilates

Pilates for weight loss and ab strength.
Hollywood swears by Pilates to keep  fit & fabulous and millions of people gain strength, stability, and relief from back pain thanks to a regular practice.  

Joseph Pilates developed the Pilates method of exercise in the early 1900’s. Pilates is well known for its’ focus on core strength, proper alignment, and good posture. One classic study has shown that Pilates exercises are more effective than crunches at activating all the major abdominal muscle groups, including the rectus abdominis (front of your belly) and external obliques (the muscles on your sides).

We bet some of these perks make you want to roll out your mat and give Pilates a try!
  • Burn, baby, burn! Pilates does burn calories! No, not as many as running a 5K but a 45-minute intermediate level class can burn approximately 270 calories!
  • Get your back in shape! According to one study, people with chronic low back pain who participated in a regular Pilates program experienced less pain and less disability than people treated with more traditional methods. Of course, if you suffer from back pain, you need to work with your healthcare provider to evaluate your readiness for a Pilates program.
  • Get stronger! Although Pilates is a great way to strengthen your abs and low back, those aren’t the only muscles Pilates targets! Pilates can strengthen your upper body & tone your lower body.
  • Be flexible! Pilates exercise programs can improve your flexibility!
  • Battle the bulge! According to a study presented at an American College of Sports Medicine conference, participants who engaged in a regular Pilates program saw weight loss and significant improvements in their body mass index.
  • Be gentle! Pilates is a low-impact form of exercise and can be modified to give you a workout while still being “easy” on your joints.
  • Tune into your body & tune out your worries! Pilates requires you to “be present”, meaning that you have to tune into your body and listen to what it is telling you. This leaves less space for other thoughts to clutter your mind and leaves you feeling relaxed!