How many times have you been told soreness and sweat equals a great workout?

No doubt, it’s quite a lot! Many of us have this false narrative ingrained whilst navigating the wellness world. High impact workouts thrive on being known for that europhic post-class feeling - for some this post-class high is the dream, for others it can have a completely different effect. Many of us feel burnt out and tired before the working day has even begun. With the recent rise of low impact workouts, our bodies are responding better than ever before. Our personal goals are being met faster and energy levels are considerably increased whilst we move through the day more mindfully. There is a science behind this; cortisol levels have a huge part to play. 

  • Cortisol - otherwise known as the ‘stress hormone’: our cortisol levels are heightened when the body is under stress. The higher impact of workout = the higher your cortisol levels reach.

  • What happens when your cortisol levels are too high? Disrupted sleep regulation, heightened stress, hormone interruption, fatigue and slower recovery time.

  • It’s important to monitor cortisol levels and ensure you’re getting low intensity movement to reduce high levels and destress the body, whether this is from physical or mental external stresses.

Whilst stabilising your energy levels pilates can completely transform your body, one of the many reasons for it being one of the fastest growing workouts. With low intensity workouts your body is out of the anaerobic zone state - this means you’re using fat as fuel, contributing to the quick results pilates goers see. Pilates also means considerably less downtime due to the low impact nature, enabling consistency and the ability to make it onto your mat daily. Alongside this, pilates is known for giving you that mind & body connection through breathwork. Having specific breathwork patterns for each movement can bring mental clarity whilst benefiting your muscle function - all at the same time. Each breathwork pattern is designed to deepen your muscle movements by performing the movement with great precision. This mind & body combination is truly so powerful. 

Next time you feel burnt out, book in for a pilates class and know that you will come out the other end feeling recharged, recentered and ready to tackle your day. Listen to your body and do whatever feels good for you, your goals and lifestyle - this will always be different for everyone. 


Emma VS is a classically trained Pilates instructor with Basi - a world leader in Teaching Training and Education. Emma specialises in classical pilates, combining the classical repertoire with contemporary movement to beautifully sculpt, lengthen and tone the body. She works with clients on a one-to-one basis to hone in on technique and personal goals, ensuring sustainable and long term results. To book a consultation with Emma please email Follow Emma for all things pilates & wellness @emvictoria.s.

 Article written by Emma VS.