3 Little-Known Factors That Pilates Could Affect Diabetes


3 Little-Known Factors That Pilates Could Affect Diabetes

Pilates is your ally in the war against diabetes. In 2017, Singapore government declared war against diabetes. As of November 2023, more than 400,000 people in Singapore live with diabetes, with the number projected to rise to 1 million by 2050!


Let’s look at some facts:

  • On APR 13, 2016, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said diabetes is costing the country more than $1 billion a year.
  • 1 in 9 Singapore residents (Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents) aged 18 – 69 years were affected by diabetes.
  • In 2014, MOH shared that 1 in 2 heart attack cases had diabetes; 2 in 3 new kidney failure cases were due to diabetes; and 2 in 5 stroke cases had diabetes. There are over 1,500 amputations per year due to complications arising from diabetes, roughly 4 per day.



Recent reports show worrying trends that diabetics is affecting younger adults, as young as 30 years old.


What are the key reasons driving high rise of diabetics cases in Singapore? They can be attributed mainly to Singaporeans living a stressful and sedentary lifestyle and that most time-starved Singaporean reach out to fast food and convenience foods with high processed sugars.


Besides managing your weight, sleep and diet, what else can you do to reduce the risk of developing diabetes? Let’s find out.


Diabetes is a disease brought on by either the body’s inability to make insulin (type 1 diabetes) or by the body not responding to the effects of insulin (type 2 diabetes). It can also appear during pregnancy.

One should also be concerned about pre-diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance stage. This is a condition whereby one’s blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes is always accompanied by pre-diabetes. Hence it is crucial to know if you are in a pre-diabetes stage and start working on precautions to prevent the full onset of type 2 diabetes.


Do you know that “lean people with a high body fat content have a higher risk of developing metabolic diseases like diabetes”? It is important to not only screen for your blood sugar level but also your body fat and visceral fat percentage. Pilates Fitness friendly front desk can assist you to measure your body fat percentage – do track on your body fat percentage on a monthly basis.



There are different types of diabetes and each type may have different symptoms. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased hunger (especially after eating)
  • Dry mouth
  • Frequent urination
  • Unexplained weight loss (even though you are eating and feel hungry)
  • Fatigue (weak, tired feeling)
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow-healing sores or cuts
  • Itching of the skin (usually in the vaginal or groin area)
  • Yeast infections
  • Recent weight gain
  • Numbness or tingling of the hands and feet
  • Impotence or erectile dysfunction


Singapore Ministry of Health has shared that “of the more than 400,000 diabetics today, one in three do not even know they have the disease.” If you have not screened yourself in the last 18 months, do make an appointment soon and screen yourself yearly to check on your blood sugar levels.



A clinical research conducted in 2013 – The effect of Pilates exercises on general health in women with type 2 diabetes concluded that “concluded that Pilates exercises can be utilized as an effective and safe method to improve general health in patients with type 2 diabetes.”

More specifically, here are 3 ways that Pilates can improve diabetes patients’ quality of life:


1. Improve Blood Glucose Control


Pilates exercises have been shown to significantly reduce fasting blood glucose, post-prandial blood glucose, and HbA1c levels in diabetic patients. An 8-week Pilates program was found to be effective in lowering these markers.


2. Enhance Lipid Profiles

Studies indicate that Pilates can improve lipid profiles in diabetics by reducing triglycerides, total cholesterol, and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. However, it does not seem to significantly impact HDL (good) cholesterol.


3. Intensity Matters for Glucose Regulation


The intensity of Pilates appears to play a crucial role in regulating blood glucose levels in diabetics. Higher intensity programs (over 200 minutes per week) were associated with greater reductions in fasting blood glucose compared to lower intensities. Reformer Pilates classes provide resistance training that increase muscle mass. When your muscle mass increase, your body fat percentage will be reduced correspondingly.




Pilates classes have no impact to your joints. This allows one to practise Pilates regularly, even on a daily basis. This makes a big difference especially to overweight diabetics patients since most exercises of moderate intensity may be overwhelming for overweight patients. As diabetic patients generally recover slowly from cuts and injuries, it is important that they choose an activity such as Pilates that has less chances of causing sport injuries.


Pilates classes require one to have mind-body connection to perform the Pilates exercises correctly. Pilates helps one to focus and improve mental health which is a great help to diabetic patients. Mental complications such as depression, anxiety and/or aggression are often accompanied by diabetes. Participating in activities that not only challenge one physically but also mentally will help diabetic patients tremendously.


Reformer Pilates, particularly when performed at higher intensities for around 8 weeks, can positively influence blood glucose control, lipid profiles, and other cardiometabolic risk factors in individuals with diabetes. There is no age, gender or fitness limitation in practising Pilates. Pilates is easily picked up by everyone including the elderly or someone who has not been exercising for a long time. Pilates is efficient as one hour of Pilates class helps to tone up full body, increase mind-body connection, improves posture, coordination and flexibility. Join us in war against diabetes – get started with your Pilates class now!


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