Monday, November 27, 2006

Pilates' Small, Powerful Moves: Good for Our Brains

Preliminary studies are showing that some people with Parkinson's Disease can benefit greatly from regular, consistent Pilates classes and exercises. The mind-body connection that Pilates offers may help with brain disorders that affect the body's muscles and movement, like Parkinson's. Sounds like a great reason to make Pilates a regular part of every one's exercise routine.

I've been a big believer in Pilates for several years so I hope that researchers will look carefully at the mind-body effects of exercises like Pilates. Longitudinal studies, along the lines of those looking at lifestyle choices that reduce the probabilities of diseases like Alzheimer's, would be great to see.

I also understand what is meant by the "small, powerful movements" of Pilates. They're challenging to do but deeply satisfying. As in Yoga, breathing, balance, and concentration are important (and good exercise for the brain and the body). Pilates also works on the body's core strength and flexibility and is particularly good for increasing abdominal strength and therefore reducing lower back tension and pain.


Lori said...

Yay for Pilates! I'm trying to do a 20-minute Pilates workout at least 3-4 times a week (I hope to work up to daily) in an effort to improve my fitness for ice hockey. I also had an idea that doing my Pilates workout in the afternoon as a break from working was good for both my hunched shoulders and my bug-fixing brain, but I couldn't prove it. Thanks for confirming my hunch!

Oh, and the photo of you on the front page is lovely!

Sheryle said...

Lori, thank you. And how great to hear from you. Have you tried NIA--look for classes in Philly and let me know what you think