You’ve probably heard a time or two that exercise is good for our mental health and overall happiness levels. This is because of the endorphins, or “happiness” chemicals, that get released in our brains when we exercise. However, did you know that pilates can provide these same benefits, along with toning your body? Pilates is a total body workout, and we know it might be just what you need to kick away the blues and keep your mindset elevated and focused.
A study conducted in 2011 in World Journal of Sport Sciences looked into the correlation between pilates and mental health benefits. Researchers performed the study with depressed women from a residential battered women’s center who did pilates for 30 to 45 minutes, three days a week. They offered these group classes over a twelve week period and took a look at the results. Researchers measured the levels of serotonin, a mood-boosting neurotransmitter, before any of the women began their pilates regimen. They measured these levels once again after the twelve weeks were complete.
In addition to the serotonin, they also used the Beck Depression Inventory (a survey often used in clinical settings), and measured blood pressure, flexibility, strength, and endurance to see any improvements in these areas, as well.
The results were pretty clear: after 12 weeks of regular pilates classes and workout routines, these women had a significant increase in their serotonin levels and a 34 percent drop in the severity of their depression. These findings were close to several antidepressant medications.
Of course, the benefits were not just seen in the women’s mental health. Their muscular endurance increased by 38 percent, and their flexibility improved by 48 percent! All participants noted an increase in strength in their abdominal, leg, and back muscles. Finally, their blood pressure was reduced significantly from the beginning of the study.
Of all the areas the researchers studied, each of them improved drastically. Exercise routines, in general, can help with all of the above, but it always helps to get involved in a physical activity you love. This can help you feel more motivated to attend your classes, give your maximum effort, and focus on the tasks your instructor gives you to do. “Mindfulness” is a practice that many mental health experts have commented on and praised, and pilates encourages this sort of practice. Mindfulness involves staying in the moment and remaining present – all outside concerns must be abandoned. Pilates demands that you pay attention to your body, your movements, and your level of muscle control, leaving your mind no room to worry about what is happening in your day-to-day life.
Experience the Transformation
If you would like to feel these benefits for yourself, then it’s time to contact us at Sculpt + Sweat in Las Vegas. Our instructors have both the experience and the passion necessary to push your body to new limits while improving your confidence and overall well-being. It’s time to experience a workout routine that gives you all the benefits you hoped for – while still having the most fun you can in a fitness class. Grab a friend and come see us today to learn more about our classes and schedule.