Health Benefits of Walking & Pilates

Both walking and Pilates are low impact activities which reap many health benefits to include improve balance, co-ordination, deep muscular activation, posture and mindfulness.

Walking address the cardiorespiratory fitness and resistance training from Pilates addresses improved muscular strength, studies undertaken by Takeshima, et al (2013) have demonstrated that the combined programs, either undertaking both activities on the same day or alternate dayes, walking one day and strength training the following day has significant improvements in endurance, functional strength, agility, flexibility, serum lipids and blood pressure over a 12 week period.

In regard to coronary heart disease, Maestroni et al (2020) found that progressive resistance training provides an improvement in cardiorespiratory function comparable to aerobic training alone, when combined they offer more substantiated improvements in both fitness and strength as well as systolic and diastolic blood pressure which may be significantly lowered by resistance training.

Those suffering from anxiety also benefit. In Australian studies on women in their 50’s and 60’s, Ripton (2015) state that women with depression who walked 200 miles a week had more energy and those with anxiety may benefit as cortisol, a hormone that provokes a stress response is lower in those who walk compared to those who are sedentary.

Both walking and Pilates can also be challenged by adding nordic poles for walking to increase the instensity of the walk which can burn more calories, poles also encourage you to stand tall, tighten the abdominals, act as an aid for balance, whilst resistance bands, tubing, circles can be incorporated into Pilates programs to increase strength and intensity.

References

Maestroni, L. Read, P. Bishop, C., Papadopoulos, K., Suchomel, T. J. Comfort, P. & Turner, A. (2020). The benefits of strength training on musculoskeletal system health: Practical applications for interdisciplinary care. Sports Medicine, 50(8), 1431-1450. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-020-01309-5

Ripton, N. (2015) The surprising health benefits of walking

Takeshima, N, Islam MM, Rogers, ME, Rogers, N.L. Sengoku, N, Koizumi, D, Kitabayashi, Y, Imai, A, Naruse, A. (2013) Effects of nordic walking compared to conventional walking and band-based resistance exercise on fitness in older adults. J Sports Sci Med, Sep 1:12 (3): 422-30.

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