In Breathing, Fitness, Pilates, Wellbeing

pilates

Is Pilates Effective for Disease Prevention?

Back in the 1920’s, a man named Joseph Pilates developed a method of exercising. It currently bears his name, simply known as Pilates. The original purpose for the program’s development came about during World War I. Joseph Pilates was working with wounded soldiers for their physical rehabilitation. The exercise regimen was focused on balance, control, breathing, concentration, flow, and precision. The idea behind Pilates was to strengthen the core muscles, with residual effects including better balance and overall range of motion or flexibility.

The popularity of Pilates today is undeniable and well documented. Many people take Pilates classes either at specialist studios or at their local gym. However, what many may not know is that it can possibly treat or prevent certain diseases. In particular, Pilates has shown to be effective against osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. Let’s find out how and why.

Osteoporosis

As you may already know, osteoporosis is a condition where bones become increasingly thin and brittle. Preventing osteoporosis can largely be done by exercising, and since Pilates is a form of exercise, it is possible to use it as a tool to fight against the disease. If you do not already have osteoporosis, Pilates can be an effective weapon against getting it. If you do already have it, you can still do Pilates, but you must take extra care so as not to hurt yourself. You can still do most of the exercises, but certain modifications may be necessary to avoid exacerbating your condition.

Alzheimer’s

You might not think that Pilates or any other exercise could have any effects against Alzheimer’s, but studies show that regular exercise and a healthy diet can help prevent the debilitating disease from taking hold. Pilates is a high-intensity exercise while at the same time having a low impact. Most of its benefits are centered around the core muscles, but they help in balance and flexibility as well. Coupled with a diet that is rich in protein and other essential nutrients, Pilates can be a powerful ally against not only Alzheimer’s, but several other diseases as well. It is pretty amazing just how much good exercise can do for a person, isn’t it?

Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s is a debilitating disease, and has been made evident by prominent celebrities who have it. Muhammad Ali and Billy Connolly are arguably two of the most famous people who have the disease. Now, it should be noted that research has not shown any clear-cut benefits to sufferers of Parkinson’s by doing Pilates. However, since Parkinson’s affects such things as balance, motion, stability, posture, and speed, Pilates could possibly have some beneficial effects at reducing the severity of Parkinson’s symptoms. Almost any of the exercises could be recommended as they go through a wide or even full range of motion. More studies are being performed, but regular aerobic exercise has been proven in rats to help reduce the loss of dopamine production. This hinders the production of dopamine and is believed to be responsible for the onset of Parkinson’s.