How Kids Can Benefit from Pilates

Childhood obesity is certainly a hot topic these days. There is no doubt that there is a problem - statistics continually show that more children are overweight than ever before. Children are also suffering from problems that do not have anything to do with obesity - asthma, allergies, autism, and other problems are increasing among children. How can Pilates help? Can kids benefit from these exercises? Here are some ideas as to how kids can benefit from Pilates.


It may seem ironic, but Pilates may help kids with sitting still in the classroom (or anywhere else). The muscles emphasized and strengthened in Pilates are the core muscles, which are key for correct posture. A child whose core muscles are flexible and strong will probably find it a lot easier to sit still for long periods, because it's more comfortable. Many times adults and children shift and fidget because of discomfort or even pain.

Weight Loss

While Pilates is not an intensive, cardiovascular workout, it can help promote weight loss. For one thing, time spent in a Pilates class is time not spent in front of the TV or computer, playing video games, or being otherwise engaged in sedentary activities. But Pilates itself can help children to lose weight and develop a leaner body. That's what muscle strengthening is alleged to do, and because Pilates focuses on muscles that you use all the time, the theory is that Pilates practitioners continue to burn calories at a greater rate between workout sessions.

Something for Everyone

Some children may be intimidated about starting sports or even just playing outside with others. It may seem to them that sports are only for the physically adept, and they don't want to be "the fat kid" on the team. Pilates, though, can accommodate anyone. All body types can do some form of Pilates, and it is not the exclusive realm of those with major athletic prowess. This can make it very attractive for kids who want to do something physically active, but who just aren't comfortable signing up for a sport.

Body Awareness

Pilates teaches body awareness. Children become aware of their position in space, and of possible bad physical habits (such as tending to raise their shoulders, or slumping in their chairs). This kind of awareness can benefit a child for a lifetime. He or she may be better able to detect possible injuries before they happen, and may develop a keen sense of when things are "out of whack." A child who is body aware should be able to tell when they're getting overweight and out of shape, too, because they will feel different.

Body Control

Teaching children to control their movements and bodies can prove invaluable. Not only could this enhance concentration (see Sitting above), but it also may also enable them to stop destructive physical behavior, such as hitting or nervous fidgets. Controlled, deep breathing is also part of Pilates; perhaps children with asthma can benefit from this aspect of the discipline.

By Health Tips

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