You feel like you’ve worked out pretty hard after your Pilates workout, right? All the stretching and ab work surely is helping get that heart pumping. Unfortunately, your heart isn’t getting much of a workout with your advanced Pilates class. While physical activity in any form is better than none — and Pilates is terrific for increasing core strength and flexibility — research shows that it’s not effective if you’re looking for a cardio workout that improves your heart health.
“But I do advanced Pilates!” you say? Sorry folks. The study found that while advanced Pilates was more effective than basic Pilates, it was not effective enough to reach the recommended heart rate and oxygen consumption percentages for working the heart.
This doesn’t mean that Pilates can’t be an important part of your exercise regimen, but to let your heart in on the action, make sure to include other exercises. To really get the heart and lungs pumping include something like jogging, spinning, swimming, jumping rope, cycling, rowing or an aerobic or dance-type classes. Just pick the ones that you like and go for it. If you can mix it up, that’s even better, otherwise your body can get too habituated to the exercise.
If you need a reason to exercise, keep some of these in mind:
- Helps reduce high blood pressure
- Promotes calorie burning during the activity and throughout the day to help keep off excess weight
- Improves cognitive function related to aging
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Helps you sleep
- Improves glucose control in people with type II diabetes
Make sure to check with your doctor before you start any exercise program. Once the MD gives you the okay, don’t waste time…hit the ground running and stop to do a little Pilates once in a while.