You can tailor Pilates to your individual needs, so it can be a great addition to your aerobic workout, even if you have health issues like heart diseasehigh blood pressure, and cholesterol. Check with your doctor first.

If you have diabetes, you may need to make some adjustments in your diabetes treatment plan, since adding muscle mass helps your body make better use of glucose. Your doctor can tell you what changes you need to make. Tell your instructor that you have diabetes and particularly if you have any complications such as diabetic retinopathy. You may need to avoid certain Pilates moves.

If you have arthritis, a strength-training program such as Pilates is a very important part of your exercise program. Research shows that a combination of aerobic exercise and strength training can help curb symptoms, maintain balance, keep joints flexible, and help you get to and keep an ideal body weight.

If you have had a recent back or knee injury, put off Pilates until your doctor clears you. Pilates strengthens the thigh muscles (quadriceps), and this may help prevent arthritis and knee injuries. It may also help prevent greater disability if you have arthritis.

Ask your doctor if Pilates would be a good choice if you have chronic low back pain. It will help strengthen your weak core muscles that may be adding to your pain. For the best results, seek out a Pilates instructor who has at least several years of experience working with people with low back pain.

If you are pregnant check with your doctor. She will probably let you continue Pilates if you are already doing it, as long as your pregnancy is going well. There may be some changes needed as your belly grows. For example, after your first trimester you shouldn’t exercise while lying flat on your back because this reduces blood flow to your baby. There are also special Pilates programs for pregnant women that you can try.