What exactly is Pilates?

If you’re picturing a bunch of women lying on floor with strange-looking exercise equipment that resembles medieval torture devices—yep, you got it, that’s Pilates. But it is not torture—in fact, research shows it can be beneficial to people with diabetes.

Developed by a Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century, Pilates has revolutionized the way many look at fitness. The core of Pilates is always quality over quantity—each exercise should be done to its absolute best. Pilates values perfect form and focuses on body alignment in every exercise.

A study published in the Life Science Journal looked at the effects of Pilates exercise on the general health of women with type 2 diabetes. Women participating in the study completed a one-hour session of Pilates twice a week for eight weeks.

The results stated that Pilates is an effective and safe method to improve health in those with diabetes. They also found that Pilates exercises enhanced the women’s physical state, making them happier overall.

What Pilates can do for you

Lengthen, strengthen, and tone targeted areas

Pilates will uncover muscles you didn’t even know you had. The exercises are designed to work targeted areas of the body for maximum strengthening and toning. All of the main muscles groups are targeted during a complete session. By using light weights and more repetitions, Pilates helps build longer and leaner muscles.

Improve posture

Core exercises are center stage in almost every Pilates exercise. Your core muscles support your spine, and when these muscles are strengthened, your spine will be less susceptible to injury.

Boost stamina and flexibility

Pilates builds endurance by concentrating on target muscles and working them to their full potential. Many exercises include forward and side bends that help increase flexibility while building stamina. Some exercises last 50 to 100 repetitions.

Meet your Individual needs

Anyone, regardless of age and physical ability, can benefit from Pilates. There are modifications for almost every Pilates exercise, which makes it ideal for beginners and fitness enthusiasts alike. It’s also a low-impact sport, making it perfect for the injured or elderly. The intensity of the exercises can increase over time as your body adapts and gains strength.

Interested in trying Pilates? You don't need any equipment to get started. Check out some YouTube videos and start for free!

To learn more on this topic:
Muscle Training Linked to Diabetes Prevention in Women
Frugal Fitness: 7 Tips to Work Out on a Budget
Resistance Band - Sample Exercises