Child's Pose

PILATES & YOGA

PILATES & YOGA

Two different, effective ways of exercising that have many benefits for people with CMT

Yoga and Pilates, while being both unique, share a lot of benefits in common for people with CMT: they are low-impact exercises that focus on stretching, breathing, core strength as well as can be beneficial for back and joint pain, as well as anxiety and depression.

Image by Emily Sea

WHICH ONE FOR ME?

A gym has several advantages over other forms of exercise for people with CMT looking to maintain or improve their fitness and strength.

YOGA

Yoga has been around for over 3,000 years and remains popular wordolwide for many good reasons. In a unique manner, Yoga is a group of physical, mental and spiritual practices, aimed at controlling the body and mind. For people with CMT, the health benefits are many, including a focus on stretching, breathing, relaxation and positive thinking. 

+ Focuses on stretching and posture

Requires little equipment

Doesn't require assistance to get started

+ Can help with anxiety and depression

+ Can help reduce symptoms of arthritis 

PILATES

Pilates is a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th centry and has grown in popularity throughout the last decade. Unlike Yoga, Pilates is focused souly on improving a persons health with the core principles of breathing, concentration, control, posture, relaxation and several more. As with Yoga, Pilates can help people with CMT by offering an accessible exercise system which has a focus on mat based exercises and stretching, with some Pilates lessons having equipment designed to accelerate the stretching process. 

+ Aims to improve overall health, focusing on core strength

Requires little equipment

+ Can help with anxiety and depression

+ Can help with flexibility and posture

+ Can help with muscle stregnth and endurance

Yoga Mats

WHERE TO START

PUT SAFETY FIRST

Safety has to be at the forefront of any exercise routine, with the frequency of exercise and intensity being based on the ability of the person exercising. If you are unsure what a safe training routine is, consult with a professional who should be able to guide you to a program that will allow you to focus on your desired goals while staying safe.

START AT A SUITABLE STAGE

Whether choosing Pilates or Yoga, you will have to start at a stage suitable for yourself. Erring on the side of caution is a good approach, as over-reaching can lead to injury. If you're new to either Pilates or Yoga, take the exercises slowly and carefuly, as muscle soreness can take a few days to emerge. 

FIND A GOOD SPACE TO EXERCISE

As balance is a key focus of both exercise forms, yet usually poor in people with CMT, make sure your workout area accounts for this: keep it free of clutter, and if necessary keep something around for extra support, such as a chair. 

Yoga Mat and Straps

GUIDED WORKOUTS

Below are several guided workouts from CMTdefy, created by Julie Stone, founder of All Bodies Community, an advocate of exercise for people with CMT and has personal experience with CMT-2A

CMTDefy - Pilates with Adaptations
CMTDefy - Pilates with Adaptations
CMTDefy - Seated Chair Yoga
CMTDefy - Floor Pilates

FURTHER INFORMATION ON EXERCISES

If you would like further resources on exercises that can benefit some of the weak muscles caused by CMT, follow the links below:

App Screens

FITNESS APPS

Providing guided exercise in your hand

Created by someone with CMT Type 2A, CMT Defy is a site focused on exercises for people with CMT of all capabilities, including pilates tutorials and seated exercises.

Image by Kelly Sikkema

HAND AND FOREARMS

Tips and advice for improving strength in hands and forearms

Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional prior to beginning any diet or exercise program or taking any dietary supplement. The content on our website is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice or to replace a relationship with a qualified healthcare professional. The result of exercise, nutrition, and supplementation will vary between individuals.

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