Pilates Improves Your Brain Power

Many of our clients come to Pilates because they want to get a flatter stomach and strengthen their muscles.

After a while some realise the benefits that it has on their minds too. Here are the proven ones:


It is believed that as we get older, past our late 20s, we start to lose a very small portion of our hippocampus. Area responsible for memory and learning.

Some studies have proved that exercise improves neurogenesis – creation of new brain cells. It also protects existing cells by prompting an increase in B.D.N.F. production – a nerve protecting compound that some scientists call “Miracle-Gro” for the brain. The changes are mostly noticeable in the hippocampus.

Another group of researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign reported in the Journal of Physical Activity & Health that people have significantly superior brain function after a mindful movement practice like Pilates or Yoga compared to aerobic exercise.


Pilates is a challenge on your body and mind. You are challenging your coordination with some of the exercises. We do try at CONTOUR to introduce a new move or two regularly. All this helps keep your brain fit, and strengthens your nerve endings.


Some of our clients struggle with Pilates because there ‘are so many things to do at once.’Breathe laterally on the exertion, engage your core by sucking in your belly button and the pelvic floor, and make sure you use the right muscle group for the exercise. A challenge. But it makes you live in the moment. Just what mindfulness is all about. And recent studies are starting to see how good mindfulness is good for our brain and ageing.

Pilates relieves tension built up in the muscles through gentle stretching and gradual conditioning. An energetic Jumpboard workout will let you metabolize stress hormones built up in your muscles. And fascial release techniques that many Pilates instructors use in their classes today will help you loosen tight muscles that are not responsive to passive stretching. When you get stress out of your body, you also get it out of your mind.

A body free from nervous tension and fatigue is the ideal shelter provided by nature for housing a well balanced mind, fully capable of successfully meeting all the complex problems of modern living.

~Joseph Pilates