In January 2019 researchers from Brazil and the USA published the results of their study to assess blood pressure levels and heart rate variability following a single session of Pilates in individuals with hypertension. Thirteen individuals (7 women), aged 44-66 years, underwent both Pilates and non-exercise control sessions separated by a 48-72 hours period. Blood pressure and heart rate were assessed 10 minutes before and 60 minutes after all sessions. Results showed that following the Pilates session, the average systolic blood pressure level was significantly lower (approximately 5-8 mmHg) when compared to the control session. However, no significant difference was detected for diastolic blood pressure level. In addition, a significant lowering of the parasympathetic heart rate indices was also seen although no difference was observed for the sympathetic markers.
Rocha J et al. Acute Effect of a Single Session of Pilates on Blood Pressure and Cardiac Autonomic Control in Middle-Aged Adults With Hypertension. J Strength Cond Res. 2019 Jan 30. [Epub ahead of print]