Why do some people run and others do Pilates? Such choices are due to personal preferences of course but the fundamental motivation behind either choice is likely to be about improving and or maintaining one’s health and fitness.
So which choice, running or Pilates, is the best exercise for achieving improvements in health and fitness?
Approaching such a question from an equal standpoint - assuming a common level of current health and fitness exists, I would suggest that neither could claim to be the best exercise because each offer different degrees of fitness benefit. Also, neither offer the complete function for ‘ideal’ fitness. However if I had to choose between one or the other, all else being equal, I would choose Pilates as my single exercise routine.
How I get to this personal conclusion is partly supported by understanding a more complete definition of ‘fitness’. To be fit in the most optimal sense requires a suitable balance between cardiovascular health, strength and flexibility.
Pilates has the potential to help you achieve a greater balance between these three components of fitness, compared to running as a single activity.
Fortunately I can choose to do more than one exercise activity in my week and therefore I make my case why combining running, with its benefits for cardiovascular health, with the strength and flexibility benefits of Pilates makes for an exercise routine more capable of producing optimal fitness.
I go into more detail about these three fitness components in a recent article - Is Running The Best Exercise For Fitness?
Paula Morgan has written previously about how the Pilates system will help runners increase muscle strength and postural stability and therefore reduce the risk for musculoskeletal injuries. See more details in her article - Pilates Benefits for Runners
Our most recent Pilates course schedule got underway on the 28th April. Our following term will likely commence towards the end of June 2014. To be notified as soon as we publish new Pilates course dates and times please join our notification list here
In good health, Robin.
Image courtesy of 'mapichai' / FreeDigitalPhotos.net