Pilates: The Immune Booster
- 2 mins read
Pilates workout involves repetitive movements, and when practiced following the pilates principles can have beneficial effects on immune function and general health.
Immunity has become hot topic these days. While we wait for our vaccines against the corona virus, most of us are looking for ways to naturally boost our immune system.
We hear different advice from every corner from magic pills to wearing magnets. But what is immunity? And are there any real steps we can take at home to boost it?
Research indicates that physical activity can help boost immune function. In a time when we are stuck indoors this can feel like a difficult task. But we’ve got the just the thing for you, PILATES! The ultimate at-home exercise to help bolster, enhance and reinforce your immune function.
Pilates- The new kid on the block!
What are pilates? is a very common question. Pilates are a form of low impact exercises that aim to strengthen muscles, improve posture and flexibility. The movements in pilates exercise involve rhythmic repetition.
These movements can help you achieve your daily quota of physical activity. It can bring up your heart rate and breathing, resulting in improved blood circulation. This can result in improved circulation of the immune cells in the blood. Because of this action, these cells are able to readily move into necessary areas of your body and can increase your immune systems surveillance.
The lymph vessels do not have a strong pump mechanism and thus relies on body movements like, breathing, walking, intestinal movement, muscle contractions for optimal drainage and circulation.
The repeated rhythmic movement of muscles in pilates workouts can improve the flow of lymph through the lymph vessels resulting in more efficient elimination of accumulated wastes and toxin from the body. Many people have used pilates for weight loss too!
Be mindful of these 8 principles while your practice pilates…
- Relaxation-Pilates teaches you to loosen up your tensed muscles and relax them for performing the movements.
- Concentration-The movements would require you to be aware of yourself and not use wrong muscles as t can lead to loss of alignment.
- Alignment-Pilates help to achieve a natural correct posture and realign the spine and body. The objective is to keep the joints stress-free and working optimally.
- Centring-Mostpilate movements help to build a strong core with a strong spine support. These engage the internal abdominal and pelvic muscles and strengthen them.
- Breathing– Duringpilates, you would practice thoracic breathing to help in maximum expansion of the ribcage and lower lungs. Breathing is never withheld or stopped during the movements.
- Coordination– Pilates teaches to coordinate the body and the mind to align the postures well and perform the flowing movements.
- Flowing movements– Pilates involves performing movements slowly with utmost control, these help in strengthening the muscles without causing any injury.
- Stamina-Advanced sequences ofpilates help in improving the stamina and muscles learn to endure the movements.
Some pilates movements to try!
The best part about pilates is that it doesn’t require any equipment and can be done easily from the comfort of your own home. There are many exercises that you can try, some of them include the chin tuck, arm circles, supine knee circles, the swimmer etc.
These exercises are easy, and stimulate lymph movement and drainage; additionally, it also enhances blood circulation and oxygenation and can help reduce stress. The effects of these simple movements on your immune system and resistance to infection are profound. The immune system benefits from physical activity and pilates offer a great way to incorporate this physical activity into your life, with minimal strain and no equipment.
da Silveira MP, da Silva Fagundes KK, Bizuti MR, Starck É, Rossi RC, de Resende E Silva DT. Physical exercise as a tool to help the immune system against COVID-19: an integrative review of the current literature. Clin Exp Med. 2021;21(1):15-28.