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Pilates and other forms of mind/body exercise are well known for increasing flexibility, strength and body awareness

Pilates and other forms of mind/body exercise are well known for increasing flexibility, strength and body awareness. Other great benefits are relaxation, stress reduction and anxiety relief. A recent study also shows stress reduction strategies play a role in keeping a healthy heart. Researchers from the Department of Psychology at Ohio State University took a look at the body's ability to clear fat from the blood when in both stressful and non-stressful situations. Not surprisingly, stress was found to significantly diminish fat clearance in the blood. Not only does the body maintain elevated blood fat levels when stressed, it also responds by increasing blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugar-all factors that can lead to heart disease. To control these physiological responses to stress, consider Pilates or other exercise that allows for relaxation and calmness-not just on the outside, but on the inside as well.

Source: Psychophysiology, 39(1): 80-85.

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