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How Many Calories Does Pilates Burn?

“Go fast enough to get there, but slow enough to see.” .
“When you run, the road belongs to you.”

If you're looking to amp up your workout routine and burn more calories, you may be wondering how Pilates stacks up against traditional cardio exercises like running. Pilates is often touted as a full-body workout that can build strength while also getting your heart rate up. But does it actually burn as many calories as sweating it out on the treadmill?

Let’s break it down.

Calories Burned During Pilates

Pilates is a bodyweight workout that focuses on core strength, flexibility, balance, and muscle control. Many of the movements are performed on a mat, while others use Pilates equipment like the reformer machine.

According to the NHS, a 30-minute beginner Pilates class burns around 100 calories for a 154-pound person. More advanced Pilates can get the heart rate higher, leading to increased calorie burn.

  • Intermediate Pilates may burn around 150 calories.

  • Advanced Pilates could burn upwards of 200 calories.

Calories Burned During Running

Running is considered a high-intensity cardio exercise that significantly increases your heart rate and calorie burn. According to Harvard Health, a 155-pound person can expect to burn the following calories by running at a moderate pace of 5 mph:

  • 30 minutes of running: 298 calories

  • 60 minutes of running: 596 calories

As you can see, running burns over 100 more calories than Pilates for the same duration. The faster the running pace, the more calories burned as well. High-intensity interval running can spike the calories burned even more.

The Verdict

While Pilates offers an amazing full-body workout, traditional cardio-like running is generally considered to burn more total calories per session due to its higher-intensity nature. That said, Pilates provides more balanced muscular endurance and flexibility benefits that running does not.

For maximum fitness, it’s best to incorporate both Pilates and cardio-like running into your workout routine. Pilates can be an active recovery day between high-intensity cardio days. Just be sure to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise programme.

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