Ever notice when you go to Pilates that the general class physique features: slim, trim, young and beautiful. It’s because they’re onto something. Pilates is an anti-aging exercise program that protects youth – and sometimes it can reverse the aging process. Don’t believe us? Check out the science that backs that statement. And, if that’s not enough, perhaps Cindy Crawford can convince you. She credits a healthy lifestyle and Pilates for her timeless look.
But back to the science..
1. It’s a Wrinkle Fighter
If you’ve ever taken a Pilates class or had a one-on-one session with a Pilates trainer, you’ll know that this form of exercise works on muscle tone, flexibility and blood circulation. What does that have to do with your skin? Tons. Dermatologist Dr. Nicholas Perricone tells newbeauty.com that these three effects help release growth hormone and reduce cortisol, which helps with skin density, cell growth the ongoing reparation of collage fibers. All that means is tightening skin.
2. It Gives You the Bikini Bod of Your 20s
Pilates really targets the abdominal. And you don’t even need a reformer to makeover your tummy. According to health.com, research shows that the Pilates mat exercises reaches the deep abdominal muscles that flatten and tighten the stomach.
3. It Keeps the Mind Sharp
Speaking of cortisol… Did you know that this stress-related chemical might be related to age-related memory issues? According to prevention.com, researchers at Jefferson Medical College discovered that just one bout of exercise, like yoga and Pilates, can help reduce cortisol, and elevated levels are linked to memory loss.
4. It Improves Flexibility
Pilates isn’t easy. The body goes through small but powerful movements, and it will move you in ways you never thought possible. Why? According to Dr. Oz fitness expert Ritchie Mastascusa, Pilates requires the body goes through a full range of motion and four planes of movement (front and back, and top and bottom – that’s your entire body!). And that will make you more flexible, improve posture and moving in a way that prevents common injuries.
5. It Prevents Back Pain
Pilates isn’t just about kegels and abs. If you’ve been paying attention, you've noted it works the entire body-including the lower back. A trial study published in the Cochrane Library found that Pilates might be worth considering for those with low-back pain. Although there wasn’t long-term follow-up evidence, in the short term Pilates can help
6. It’s Good for Your Sex Life
There’s great debate about the age of sexual peak. But who cares when you’re a Pilates fan. A Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy study polled 34 healthy, sexually active women aged 20-50 years old after 12 weeks of regular Pilates instruction to find an improvement in sex.
We know we promised six ways that Pilates is good for anti-aging. But there is support that it can help you sleep like a baby, prevent incontinence, boost bone health, and so much more; but like any form of exercise or new fitness regime, you should seek the guidance of a professional and get clearance from your doctor first.