Most of us don't ask the question – how many calories do we actually burn in a Pilates class simply because most of us are not there to burn fat, rather we take up Pilates to exercise and stretch practically every muscle in our bodies, tone our abs, strengthen our backs, re-align our bodies, stretch out our bodies, become more flexible, and so on.
The calorie count is probably the last on our list of questions but it has been asked before and of course we do burn calories in Pilates so here is a report you may find of interest.....
A report published by the American College of Sports Medicine tells of new research conducted by Michele Olson, Ph.D. Olson and her team measured the calories burned during beginner, intermediate, and advanced Pilates mat workouts. The research team monitored heart rate, metabolic rate and rate of perceived exertion while the participants performed exercises in a random order.
The research team found that a 30-minute session at an intermediate level burned 180 calories, and continuing the workout burned an additional 90 calories each 15 minutes. It was also found that men burned slightly more calories than women (likely due to the fact that men are larger and have more muscle mass).
Results showed that beginner Pilates exercises burned energy comparable to active stretching, or to other low-moderate intensity exercises. The intermediate workout proved to be of a moderate intensity level, similar to speed walking at a rate of 4 to 4.5 mph. The advanced workout was found to be of high-moderate intensity, similar to taking a step aerobics class.
The team also found that a 1 hour, intermediate level session burned 360 calories. If you add that in some classes we workout with free weights & ankle weights we increase metabolic and heart rate even more and therefore potentially burn even more calories!
Apart from attending a Pilates class, our Pilates on the Small Ball DVDs allow you to do your Pilates exercises whereever you like.
The small ball is especially great if you suffer from back pain as it allows you to do the more advanced exercises whilst protecting your back.
At Pilates Lifestyle, we use the small ball in a lot of our group Pilates classes, because it offers a balanced and varied workout to aid in burning those calories!