Performing Pilates on a regular basis helps tone your muscles and increase your flexibility while burning calories. Your ability to shed calories while doing Pilates depends on your weight and the level of intensity. The six Pilates principles form a disciplined approach to exercise that can be applied to your overall fitness plan. Pilates focuses on developing core strength, a vital component of any fitness program, which improves your ability to engage in other calorie-burning aerobic and strength-training exercises.

Definition of Pilates

Developed by Joseph Pilates in the first part of the 20th century, Pilates is a disciplined form of body conditioning that focuses on the mind and body connection, with an emphasis on controlled breathing. The six principles that serve as performance guides are control, breath, concentration, flow, centering and precision. Although special devices may be used, Pilates may be performed on a simple exercise mat placed on the floor. A typical Pilates class features 25 to 50 specific exercises led by a certified instructor and can be adapted to your physical limitations or fitness goals.

Calorie-Burning Potential

Pilates burns a respectable number of calories, though individual results vary. There are three Pilates levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. A 150-pound person who engages in a beginner’s level of Pilates for one hour burns approximately 250 calories. Move up to an intermediate level class and one hour of Pilates burns an estimated 350 calories for a 150-pound person. The same person taking a one-hour advanced Pilates class burns approximately 432 calories.

Calorie-Boosting Tips

To burn the most calories, work your way up to the more physically challenging levels of Pilates — those that are faster-paced and incorporate acrobatic movements. A Pilates class designed to burn calories may begin with a session of cardio exercises and include shorter breaks between exercises, resulting in a sustained increased heart rate. Classes that feature props, such as the reformer, can boost your calorie-burning potential.

Things to Consider

To lose one pound, you must burn 3,500 calories. Pilates can play a key role in your fitness program, but to successfully lose weight, you need to incorporate other aerobic and strength-training exercises into your routine. While Pilates burns only a moderate number of calories, it is excellent for toning flabby muscles, especially around your core. You may look and feel leaner, even if the scale doesn’t change. To lose weight, your diet is just as important as exercise. By reducing caloric intake and increasing physical activity, you can burn enough calories to generate noticeable and lasting weight loss.

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