Cardiovascular exercise and Pilates both come with a wide variety of benefits, however choosing between which one is more suitable for you, depends entirely on your own personal health goals and needs.
With that said, here are some things to consider when setting your personal health goals:
·Are you looking to gain muscle strength and/or greater flexibility?
·Are you seeking better overall alignment? From the tips of your toes, from your ankles, up through the spine and to the top of your skull?
·Are you recovering from an injury?
·Are you preparing for birth, or seeking post-natal rehabilitation?
·Are you seeking weight loss?
·Are you looking to improve your cardiovascular health?
·Are you just plain old looking to just be in your body and with your breath for a little while?
·Are you seeking relief from relentless mind chatter?
The great news is, that Pilates and Cardio can attend to many of these concerns! To break things down a little further for you, Pilates is a form of movement designated to stretch, strengthen and bring your body into greater overall balance, using the breath. Cardio is any form of movement or exercise which speeds up your heart rate. Think dancing, running, aerobics and cycling. Of course, in an ideal world we could get the best of both worlds, and do both. But depending on your own unique lifestyle, choosing only one might just be enough (for now). 😉
Now that we’ve broken things down a bit for you, and hopefully have given you some inspiring health goals, we can finally get to the juicy stuff – the benefits.
Benefits of Pilates
With Pilates, we begin to cultivate greater core stability, better posture, greater flexibility and overall balance. It also expands mobility and fluidity in the pelvis and lumbar spine. We begin to find greater ease in all movements, and it is a wonderful compliment to all other forms of movement. In fact, it provides us with the strength and prepares us with proper form so that we can truly enjoy other forms of exercise, without risk of injury. Plus, corresponding our movement to our breath is a wonderful opportunity to relieve stress, and increase general mind-body awareness.
Benefits of cardio
Cardiovascular workouts help to burn calories, trim fat, increase our lung capacity, and strengthen our heart. Cardio also helps to boost energy levels and endurance, and as a result, endorphins are released which is a wonderful and uplifting way to balance our mood, and potentially even find relief from depression and anxiety. However, it is important to note that without the proper strength to support vigorous movement, we risk injuring ourselves in cardiovascular work outs (think joint impact from running). It is for this reason, that Pilates is a wonderful compliment to all forms of exercise, especially cardio workouts.
You can read more on the benefits of Cardio & Pilates at this great article, here.