Is Pilates a good exercise for former smokers?
If you’ve quit smoking, congratulations! By making the commitment to stop smoking, you’ve taken a big step towards lowering your risk for smoking-related diseases and adding years to your life. The health risks from smoking are many including an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, respiratory diseases such as COPD, emphysema, bronchitis, and lung cancer. In fact, smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in the body.
Although former smokers are still at risk for developing lung cancer, the risk drops by 50% ten years after you quit. And, according to research conducted by the American Association for Cancer Research, exercise has been demonstrated to also have a significant benefit in lowering the risk of lung cancer in former smokers.
The research showed that engaging in physical activity such as low to moderate intensity cardio exercise such as walking, swimming, cycling, or taking beginning Pilates or yoga classes can make a real difference in lowering your risk for lung cancer.
At Propel Pilates and Fitness, located in Rancho Bernardo, we offer all levels of Pilates classes to help you achieve your wellness and fitness goals. We believe that Pilates can benefit everyone, no matter how old you are, your fitness level, or body type. If you’re new to Pilates, we offer beginner classes that are open to anyone — no previous Pilates experience necessary!
Reduce your risk of cancer
Pilates classes for former smokers include breathing exercises to strengthen the lungs. These are good exercises for increasing lung capacity. The deep breathing that you’ll be doing during your Pilates workout will help to boost your circulation, thereby helping your lungs to bring in more oxygen.
Some common Pilates exercises that can give your lungs a good workout include:
- The Hundred
- Double Leg Pull
- Down Stretch
- Twisting Exercises
In general, Pilates help to strengthen your core muscles, increase flexibility, improve balance, posture, and body awareness. By stretching and increasing your flexibility, your lungs will naturally increase their capacity. As your lung capacity improves, you’ll find that you have increased energy and are able to be more physically active.
How it works
Regular exercise and a healthy diet have been found to provide benefits for former smokers. In addition to helping to reduce the risk of developing lung cancer, an exercise program that includes Pilates classes can have significant, positive effects on long term health.
If you’ve made the decision to start taking Pilates classes, visit our website to check out our class schedule. We offer a great selection of classes — private or semi-private sessions, or small group classes that are appropriate for every fitness level. At Propel, we’ll even design a small group class for you and some of your friends.
You taken that first big step to improving your health and overall quality of your life by quitting smoking. Take the next step towards achieving your health and fitness goals by incorporating Pilates into your daily life.