Pilates fights pain

Sometimes we can feel as if the weight of the world is on our shoulders, but actually more accurately it is probably on our backs. Back pain can be a result of working environments, busy lifestyles, driving, lifting, poor posture, tiredness and medical conditions. Pilates is proven to be one method to prevent and ease the discomfort of back pain by improving your posture and strengthening your core.

Poor posture through slumping and collapsing in the spine or rounding the shoulders leads to the weight in the body being incorrectly distributed, too much force goes through some areas and not enough through others. Some of your muscles begin to overwork and are constantly fighting against gravity, the composition of these muscles begins to change and they develop more stringy fibres. This is done to save the energy that would otherwise be required to hold a muscle fibre in a constant state of contraction. This stringy feeling is a knot or a tense, tight spot. That’s the point lots of people go for a massage, which I definitely recommend. However, once you have had the massage you need to address why you needed it in the first place.


Pilates with Priya: Pilates fights pain


These tight muscles are often weakened, leading to changes in the natural movement patterns of the joints. A pull one way from a tight, overworked, weak muscle can cause a muscular spasm as the body attempts to quickly stabilise the movement. When one part of the body is not working properly, another part will try to compensate. It sounds like a great plan, but really we want to fix the broken section or we end up with a whole body that is out of balance. It is like tuning an instrument. If one note is out of tune, you can retune to that pitch and the instrument will sound fine, until you play with another instrument.

Pilates gives you the opportunity to work out which parts of your body need correction and attention. By working on your posture in classes, it should have a knock on affect in daily life. There are exercises to strengthen muscles, lengthen muscles, shorten muscles and relax muscles.

The changes that Pilates quickly makes in the way we live in our bodies is always so rewarding to see. Often after only a few sessions, clients will tell me how it is making a difference. I remember one lady telling me how she has to adjust her rear view mirror overtime she gets in the car after class as she has “grown”. Showing how slumped she had become in the day and the difference just one session can make. Another client found his sciatica had gone after 4 classes, meaning he could get down to the floor and play with his kids. Often we will adjust sessions to deal with people’s aches and pains that week. Pilates is a practice that once you feel it’s benefits you won’t understand how you managed without it.

So if you want to deal with those aches and pains, book a 1-2-1 session or a place on an introduction course today.

Pilates, Calories and Weight Loss.

Can Pilates help you lose weight? Absolutely. Will Pilates help you gain that lean, scuplted body. For sure.

So what is the catch? Pilates alone won’t help you achieve these aims. Combine Pilates with a healthy diet and some cardiovascular exercise and you will get there. Bear in mind that 1 Pilates class a week is a good start but isn’t going to achieve those aims all on it’s own. See my tips on doing Pilates at home.

Pilates is one of those types of exercise that I think is hard to quantify. Each class is so different. Some of the classes I teach focus more on stretching and releasing then strengthening. Other classes have an intense core focus. It absolutely varies from class to class and it really depends on how hard you work in the class. The simplest exercises can work you very hard if done with good technique. So when thinking about how many calories a Pilates class uses I would say it depends on:

  1. How long you exercise for.
  2. How intense the session is.
  3. Your Pilates technique.

The average calories burnt for an hours Pilates session is quoted on the internet is 200kcals.

How many calories does Pilates burn?

Pilates will help you tone up, improve flexibility and improve your core strength. You will be stronger, leaner and more body aware from regular Pilates. It will help with weight loss but not on it’s own. For the best results make sure you combine your Pilates with other cardiovascular exercise such as running or aerobics.

For example I teach and do a lot of Pilates but I combine this with Step aerobics, running, weight sessions and general running around after small kids.