How Does a Reformer Pilates Workout Benefit Weight Loss?

2.06.23 by Thomas Millar

How Does a Reformer Pilates Workout Benefit Weight Loss

Reformer Pilates is a fantastic form of exercise that will benefit your overall health and fitness levels which in turn can aid with your weight loss journey. But is Pilates good for weight loss by itself? Well, while it may not provide a method of weight loss in isolation, it will contribute to helping you lose weight if you also adopt a healthier lifestyle, a balanced diet and do more exercise. 

Reformer Pilates is an enjoyable and effective fitness routine that is a great form of resistance training and strength training. It will increase your core strength and muscle strength which will benefit your entire body, improving your overall fitness and also helping to burn calories, albeit in modest amounts. 

Pilates as an effective weight loss exercise for the overweight and obese 

Recently, there have been more scientific studies undertaken to specifically examine the effectiveness of Reformer Pilates and mat Pilates as a way of losing weight for people who are overweight or obese.

In 2021, scientists in China undertook a study that measured the effects of Pilates on weight, fat mass and body composition in adults who were overweight or obese. The study concluded: “Pilates dramatically reduces body weight, BMI, and body fat percentage in adults with overweight or obesity”, although they warn that “the reduction in body weight and body fat percentage appears to be more pronounced in studies including participants with obesity only”. They also discovered that Pilates has no significant effect on waist circumference or lean body mass. Great news if you have a lot of weight to lose, but if you’re only trying to lose a few pounds, it is unlikely that Reformer Pilates will help on its own. 

As with any form of exercise, Reformer Pilates will contribute towards weight loss

One group of sports scientists from the University of Sydney have recommended that “for meaningful weight and total adiposity loss, a minimum of 300–420 min per week of aerobic activity of at least moderate intensity is required.” That’s an average of between 42 minutes and 1 hour a day – which means that our 50 minute Pilates Reformer workout could count… if you put the work in! 

The psychological benefits of exercise cannot be underestimated

Other studies have shown that one reason why doing Pilates helps with weight loss is because it improves mental health and motivates people to adopt a healthier lifestyle, including a healthy diet. A 2021 study undertaken in Korea investigated whether doing Pilates or yoga might encourage people to adopt health-promoting elements into their lifestyle. The outcome was positive: “our results confirm that Pilates and yoga help recruit health-promoting behaviours in participants and engender positive beliefs about their subjective health status, thereby setting a positive reinforcement cycle in motion.”

Having instructors ensures your Reformer Pilates class will be more effective

When it comes to doing Pilates as part of your healthy lifestyle programme – whether that’s Reformer or mat Pilates – be aware that if you do it on your own, it may not be as effective as you’d like it to be. One review of studies published by the University of Thessaly in 2022 warned: “It is worth noting that supervision by qualified instructors may play a key role in serving these populations when performing this mind–body exercise type in real-world conditions.” Researchers concluded that “supervised Pilates training protocols can be an efficient, safe, and attractive exercise mode for apparently healthy individuals affected only by overweightness or obesity.”  

If you want to lose weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle, try Reformer Pilates 

There are a huge number of health benefits associated with doing Reformer Pilates, including core strength and stability, improved posture, increased muscle tone, and injury prevention. As a low impact workout, it is the ideal exercise routine if you are a beginner or if you are recovering from injury. It will help you adopt a healthier lifestyle which is essential if you want to lose weight and keep that weight off. 

If you want to find out for yourself by giving Reformer Pilates a go, you can Try A Class for just £10 (and you can invite a friend for free!). Click here to find your nearest studio, then book a class, using the promotion code TRY10. We hope to see you soon! 

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