For the uninformed, it might seem downright impossible that an overweight or obese person could practice sports and physical activities just as easily as slim people do. This is a surprisingly common misconception as extra weight is immediately associated in our minds with lack of exercise, among other issues. However, as many people who don’t fit in with the image we all have regarding fit people will show, being on the heavy side and not being able to be active don’t necessarily go hand in hand.
A great example of this is Jessamyn Stanley, a yoga teacher who is as flexible as they get despite her body not complying with what is defined as slim. However, let’s not stray from the topic at hand as we are here to discuss Pilates and the possibility of overweight and obese people to practice it, as well as the transformations your body goes through if you persevere and make the exercise routine an integral part of your day-to-day life.
Is Pilates a Friendly Exercise for Overweight and Obese People?
Pilates can seem intimidating at first, especially considering that this activity requires a certain degree of agility from its practitioners. There might be some physical limitations at first, but with practice, you will surpass all obstacles. Thus, you should not let yourself get discouraged in the slightest as, like with all sports and activities, Pilates is appropriate for overweight and obese people too.
If you are out of shape, haven’t been active in a while, there is no need to fret as you can gradually increase exercise difficulty according to your fitness level. You can follow through with the standard 20-minute routine on the best Pilates reformer without excruciating physical effort, or put a mat on the floor to take up simpler yet effective exercises until you feel prepared to take up more and more demanding routines.
- To sum it up: Yes, you can do Pilates regardless of your weight. What matters most is your fitness level and it is not necessarily associated with what the scale shows. If you are out of shape, begin with easy drills and pace yourself. Stay motivated and keep at it, practicing Pilates at least 3-4 times per week for 20 minutes, and you will lead a healthier life as a result of staying active.
Are Plus-Size People at Risk for Injuries when Practicing Pilates?
No, as long as the exercises are performed correctly and adapted to each person’s body size and fitness level, there are no risks associated with Pilates. Just take it gradually according to your physical possibilities, pay attention to your body’s position with each movement to make sure you don’t make mistakes along the way, and you will be safe. Doing Pilates helps overweight and obese people stay clear from unwanted incidents seeing how it helps in weight loss and strengthens the muscles around the lower back, hips, knees, and ankles, which are at risk of injury because of the strain and weight put on them.
Exercises and Gear – Are There Any Considerations?
- Whether you perform the exercises on a mat or a reformer, there are a few positions commonly used in this practice, specifically sitting, kneeling, and lying down. This makes Pilates perfect for plus size folks as larger individuals won’t respond as well to fitness drills that necessitate standing or sudden and frequent shifts of weight.
- The drills can be adapted for various physical needs and fitness levels with ease. If you go to a local gym, a skilled trainer will know exactly what to do and how to modify the routine to comply with your needs. But you can safely adapt the exercises even if you practice Pilates at home as there are training DVDs that specially cater to beginners which you can use as guidance.
- If you are worried about your weight when it comes to using gear like the chair or reformer, don’t be, as pro-grade gear is surprisingly sturdy. To make sure that everything will be alright, you can check the spec sheet of the equipment to see what the maximum weight it can accommodate is.
- Resistance bands, rings, and exercise balls are must-have equipment as they can be used to follow through with beginner-friendly routines and diversify possibilities in terms of exercises so that you never get bored.
- Before we end this section we must talk about clothing. Luckily, it’s not difficult to dress for Pilates at all. Wear whatever makes you feel comfortable. You don’t necessarily need revealing clothes seeing how T-shirts and sweats are just as fine.
How Pilates Shapes Out a New Body for You
Pilates and Weight Loss – Does It Really Work?
Weight loss is directly associated with the number of calories you burn. Pilates might not be as impressive as running when it comes to this aspect, but it still proves efficient toward weight loss, especially if you keep at it and integrate the 20-minute workout in as many days of the week as possible.
Combine Pilates with healthy eating, and you will see a notable difference only after a few weeks. Of course, results vary depending on your current weight (heavier people slim down faster at first), as well as the exercise difficulty level and the type of routine you take up (whether you use the mat or the reformer).
- If your objective is rapid weight loss, mix Pilates with running or cycling. You must also make sure that your diet integrates lean protein, veggies, fruits, and whole grains.
Beyond Weight Loss – Other Benefits You Get to Enjoy
While most people are tempted into practicing Pilates with the main goal of losing weight, the truth of the matter is that there are many other benefits to reap from staying active through this physical activity. Some of the important health perks you enjoy are:
- Improved posture – no more slouching, you will sit with your back straight, looking and feeling more confident because of this;
- No more back pain – those who have a desk job know how grueling these pains can get, and as Pilates provides a safe method to tone them down, it is an activity all modern people should take up;
- Off-season conditioning – this mostly applies to athletes who seek to stay in shape even when they are not active in their respective fields;
- Increased joint mobility – your agility in movements will improve significantly;
- Full body toning – your skin will be toned and gorgeous, making you feel confident and happy with the way you look.
Yes, if you are motivated and ambitious, irrespective of how much you weigh, you can take up any sport or physical activity you like. There might be limitations when it comes to the fluidity of your movements and how much you can stretch, but if you persevere, you will practice the activity just like a fit person does. You will be toned, healthier, and inevitably lose weight if you integrate Pilates into your daily routine, this physical activity proving beneficial for the body, as well as the mind. So, for a happier and healthier you, don’t stray from Pilates as this is an activity people of all body types and sizes can take up.