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How Pilates can help battle allergies, illness

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If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you may feel like you’ve tried everything to relieve your symptoms.

If allergy medicines leave you experiencing side effects like drowsiness, fatigue, headache, consider a natural approach. Research suggests that homeopathic methods can help lessen allergic symptoms such as inflammation.

Pilates can help reduce inflammation, increase circulation and strengthen the immune system.

According to a Journal of Sport and Health Sciences report on exercise and immunity, benefits include decreased levels of inflammation, decreased stress and overall better health and wellness.

The rhythmic movements of a Pilates session stimulate blood flow. Throughout your Pilates class, as your muscles contract and release, lymph vessels are squeezed by muscles and lymph is pushed along and filtered through lymph nodes on its way back to the veins and the heart.

“Pilates can have benefits for those with breathing problems like asthma and bronchitis because it is using breath and the diaphragm to expand the lungs and rib cage and encourage deep breathing into the lower lobes of the lungs,” said Mary Lou Savino, owner and president of Be Fit Physical Therapy & Pilates, LTD. “This helps to improve circulation, respiration and gets the heart and lungs pumping!

Pilates movements benefit the whole circulatory and respiratory system because breath is one of the key principles of Pilates. Breathing in through your nose decreases the amount of pollen coming into your body compared to breathing through your mouth.

Whether you're exercising indoors or outside, stay well hydrated to keep your allergy symptoms at bay. Shower immediately after exercise to cleanse all the pollen off of your body, especially if you were exercising outside.

Be Fit Physical Therapy & Pilates: 4934 Main St. Downers Grove, IL 60515, 630.964.4008, www.befitpt.com