Regular physical activity is recommended for weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight. When we think of physical activity in the context of weight loss, we tend to drift toward high-intensity aerobic exercises such as jogging, cycling, or swimming, or perhaps even weight training. For people with obesity, these more intense exercise programs may not initially be practical, particularly for those who have been sedentary and are in the early stages of including increased physical activity into their weight management program.
For those individuals, an alternative exercise program that offers adaptable forms of movement and no stress on joints can help them build confidence and keep them motivated. One such exercise program, Pilates, is a low-impact form of exercise that allows beginners to gradually increase cardiovascular and muscular fitness. This can help people with obesity ease into a more active lifestyle while minimizing the risk of injury associated with exercise programs that are more taxing on joints.
A Pilates program engages both the mind and the body as it focuses on increasing muscle control, improving posture, and improving breathing. Pilates works muscles without fully fatiguing them, and many of the exercises can be done without any special equipment. (However, specialized equipment can be found at Pilates studios or local gyms.)
People with obesity can get started with just a mat to perform exercises that involve lying down. Exercises can also be adapted based on any physical limitations one may have. Pilates is considered to be a therapeutic or rehabilitative form of exercise because it focuses on improving physical fitness through movements that improve lower back pain, posture, movement dysfunction, musculoskeletal health, and poor functional capacity.
If you’re interested in beginning a Pilates exercise program or any other exercise program, speak with one of our providers to help you get started on the exercise program that’s right for you.