When is the Best Time for Pilates Exercises?

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Pilates has been around since the 1920s, and was originally developed by Joseph Pilates to help returned prisoners of war regain their strength. It is not designed as a cardio workout but as a strengthening and toning exercise. Pilates experts advise doing mat Pilates workouts at least three times a week either in a class or at home. Continue to do cardio and weight training workouts and follow your healthy diet to see the best results.

There is no “best” time to complete Pilates exercises because every person’s schedule and body clocks are different. Many Pilates workouts take only 10-20 minutes and are easy to fit into most routines. Unlike cardio and weight training, Pilates is not as likely to increase heart rate for long periods of time, so it can more easily be done close to bedtime. However, doing it when you first wake may create more mobility and flexibility during your day due to the nature of the Pilates workout. It is advisable to do your Pilates exercises at least 1 hour before bedtime if you experience disturbed sleep.
The key in Pilates is to focus on quality of the movements rather than reps or times. Your Pilates instructor or video will teach you about breathing, focusing on your body and doing the movements correctly. Pilates workouts build muscle strength without bulking up, giving you long and lean muscle form. Just as in other exercise routines, Pilates workouts will take time to show effects.

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Most Pilates instructors recommend finding a time to schedule your Pilates workout consistently. You may want to switch between an easy routine and a more difficult routine from day to day depending on your energy level and mental focus. This keeps the workouts more interesting as well as allowing your muscles to rest and rebuild between strenuous workouts. Make the workouts part of your routine regardless of the time of day. Tie the workout to another already-routine activity such as brushing your teeth or while watching the evening news every other day. This helps make exercise such as Pilates workouts habits. Try cutting out 15 minutes of TV or internet time every other day to fit in your workout. Your Farmville farm will still be there, and modern digital cable has “on demand” for almost every show.

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For many people Pilates workouts and other exercise routines are done in the morning. They find this boosts their mood and energy level and lets them check off this item on their to-do list. Many people are too tired at the end of the work day to consider exercise. Pilates exercises are less taxing and may fit in better with evening workouts for those who cannot make themselves get out of bed any earlier. Work schedules, school schedules, holidays, weather and other activities all impact when you can do your Pilates workout.

Because Pilates workouts do not burn calories at the rate of an aerobic or cardio workout, you can expect to burn about 175 calories per 50 minute mat routine if you are a beginner. More advanced Pilates exercises may burn about 250 calories per 50 minute sessions. Remember that the founder of Pilates encouraged even 10 minutes sessions several times a day. It has been shown that even 15 minutes of physical activity per day improves your health in a multitude of ways. The best advice is to find a time convenient for you and keep the appointment with yourself for your workout routine.

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1 Comment

  1. Karen says: Reply

    Everyone’s clocks are set a little differently. I’ve had clients request sessions at 5 am and I’ve taught Pilates up to about 9 pm. South Florida has many professional athletes and I’ve had athletes request sessions before heading off to their practice and I’ve taught sessions to athlete/clients after their teams training sessions. I have a client with Parkinson’s who likes afternoons sessions, etc. My feeling is the best time to take a Pilates session is when you want to.

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