Monday, November 27, 2006
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.