Pilates Pros and Cons

Pilates is a fitness system developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century. The system, also called Contrology, is based on aerobics and yoga postures of Surya Namaskaras. It was originally developed with the idea of improving the rehabilitation program of returning war veterans. As of 2005, there are about 11 million people who practice yoga on a regular basis.


What’s good about Pilates according to certified trainer Christi Masi of Seattle, is its controlled movements. "Pilates is slow and controlled, so you’re getting a workout without too much sweat," says Masi. "It’s low impact [and appropriate for] for those with bad knees and previous injuries." Fawn Gill, a Pilates instructor in Bowen Island, B.C., adds, "Pilates focuses on posture, core strength, joint mobility and muscle strength. People at all fitness levels can do it." On top of that, Pilates does not require any special equipment, though there are Pilates studios that offer specialized classes on a metal spring-based "Reformer," which can be customized according to user’s fitness level.


Ironically, the upside of Pilates is also its downside. "Pilates is anaerobic exercise, so you don’t burn as many calories as you would running," says Pilates instructor Alana Reed, from New York City. Reed was quick to admit though that practicing Pilates does build muscle. "And the more muscle your body has, the more efficiently it burns calories" says Reed.

Source: MSN Health 


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