Whether you’re doing Pilates to get toned and lean, increase flexibility or lose weight, there are a few things to keep in mind and add to your regimen to help you get the best results. In the case of weight loss it is important to be sure you’re watching your caloric intake. While any form of exercise burns calories, they don’t all burn the same amount. For example 30 minutes of Pilates can burn just over 200 calories, while 30 minutes on a spin bike will burn closer to 300.
For weight loss, you will also get the best results from Pilates if you incorporate it with another fitness regimen that focuses on cardio. Go for a jog a couple of nights a week or do an aerobics class. Even 30 minutes on an elliptical or treadmill a couple of days a week will greatly increase your weight loss. At the same time the Pilates work will help increase your stamina when doing the cardio activities.
With diet in mind, there are also certain foods you can eat to help ensure you get the flat belly you’ve been working for and help keep it that way once you start your Pilates regimen. These foods include almonds, various berries, yogurt and fish that are high in Omega 3 fatty acids are all great for reducing belly bloat and belly fat accumulation. Many health experts believe the best way to eat in order to lose weight and maintain energy throughout the day is by eating six small meals throughout the day rather than three big meals. This is especially beneficial for Pilates work because you never have to wait long after eating to do your workout and it improves regularity in digestion which helps keep the tummy lean and ready for ab workouts.
Keep proper posture even when you’re not engaging in your Pilates exercises. You can do this while driving, sitting in your office, going for a walk or even sitting on the couch watching TV. Practice your Pilates breathing and keep your belly button pulled up and in. You will be surprised how easy it is to do and hold by just concentrating a little. Soon it will seem like it doesn’t take much concentration at all. You will also find that this helps your posture improve, which can lessen back pain.
Stay relaxed and embrace the proper Pilates breathing methods. The exercises in Pilates are designed to compliment your breaths. This means that if you focus on your breathing as you do the exercises the breaths will help make the exercises easier on you. Proper breathing during Pilates also ensures the oxygen is flowing to all of your muscles and penetrating the tissues as they work. This helps result in less chance of injury and helps the muscle become stronger and longer faster.
While many people see results after just 10 sessions of Pilates, you will probably start to feel better after the first few. People who tend to see results within the first 10 sessions generally do a 30 to 40 minute Pilates exercise session two times a week. This means that if you work hard and do 4 or 5 of these sessions each week, your chances of seeing and feeling results will more than likely increase. You may start to see significant changes after your first two weeks of Pilates practice.
Keep building up your routine. Often people continue to stay at the introductory or intermediate level in their Pilates work. As you continue to do Pilates you will notice the exercises getting easier or just staying at the same effort level. In order to get the most out of your Pilates work outs you will need to incorporate more advanced movements and maybe even visit a Pilates studio where you can do work on the machines or other apparatus under the instruction of a certified Pilates instructor.