How Can Pilates Help Boost My Immunity?

By On March 15, 2020 · Leave a Comment

heart pulse

It seems like a no-brainer to me that Pilates helps boost the immune system since Pilates is good for you. And if something is good for you, it’s going to have a beneficial effect on your immune system. While this is true yet vague, the direct connection between Pilates and an improved immune system is much more specific and based in solid medical science. Let’s discuss!

Dumping the Trash: The Body’s Waste Removal System

Our lymphatic system plays a central role in our immune system. It is how our body removes waste. Lymph, the fluid in the body that holds the body’s cellular waste and toxins, is carried by the lymphatic system to specific ducts in the body that are responsible for removing the toxins. After being cleansed, the fluid is returned to the bloodstream.

Obviously the better our lymphatic system functions, the better the rest of the immune system works. The lymphatic system works near and parallel to the cardiovascular system, but it does not have its own pump. The only way the toxin-filled lymph is pumped back to its cleansing ducts is through our breathing and muscular engagement.

lungs and breath

Pilates’s main principles are diaphragmatic breathing and controlled, purposeful contraction and extension of muscles. As a result, with each Pilates workout, you are taking out the trash, so to speak.

By emphasizing proper and deep breathing, Pilates guides your body into a restful “rest and digest” mode accessing the parasympathetic nervous system, which results in stress relief and a better-functioning respiratory system. Add on to that list of benefits a better-functioning lymphatic system, and it is no wonder that Joseph Pilates described breathing as the “internal shower of the body.” So breathe well and deep, and do Pilates to improve your immune system!

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