Yoga for Fitness:

Realizing the benefits of yoga can add a whole new dimension to your levels of fitness and flexibility. There was a time when many people considered yoga to be the exercise that elderly people and housewives would do during the day.

This couldn’t be further from the truth and some yoga routines can deliver a more strenuous workout than many professional sportsmen and women can endure. In fact, the recent rise in popularity of yoga has been helped by the many professional sports people, who have adopted this as part of their fitness training, to assist with flexibility and help reduce injuries.

Yoga can be tailored to suit anybody’s requirements from the very elderly to the professional sports person. By stretching the muscles in controlled poses the flexibility that can be garnered will reduce the chance of torn or strained muscles on the playing field.

With the amount of money that is invested in professional sports now there is a need to ensure that the sports person is fit and able to perform throughout the season. Time out due to injury is too expensive to ignore and that is why yoga is becoming more popular.

Yoga is a low impact form of exercise and as such can be used under guidance even when people are suffering from injuries and it can also assist in the recovery process. It is also excellent for stress reduction.

Apart from the positive aspects of increased flexibility, stress reduction and improved mobility, yoga is also very good for improving strength. Standing poses where a position is held for a length of time can improve leg strength and at the same time improve the yoga student’s balance.

There are so many areas of fitness that yoga encompasses that it is one of the best all-round body and mind workouts that you could do.

Pilates for Fitness:

Like Yoga there has been a vast increase in the number of people who are using Pilates as their preferred form of fitness.

Once again it is the professional sports people who have helped popularize Pilates recently as they strive for a more rounded training regime that will help to reduce injury, add strength and flexibility and assist in their recovery if they are unfortunate enough to get injured.

Pilates focuses on the core postural muscles, which are the abdominals, lower back muscles, the hips and buttocks. By building a strong core structure this strength can flow out to all the other muscles of the body from this center. Pilates requires concentration where the muscles are controlled throughout all movements, which helps to build strength.

There have since been some variations on the base method taught in Pilates by the original founder Joseph Pilates, but they are all centered on this same principal of core training.

This is especially useful for athletes in many sports and it is a popular method of fitness training for people of all ages. By teaching this control with fluid movements Pilates offers a complete body workout and in doing so can help to reduce the incidence of injury that can occur when participating in other sports activities.

There are machines that are used for a lot of the Pilates exercises and these can be quite expensive. Throughout the country there are dedicated Pilates gyms that have the correct equipment and instructors to ensure that the movements are being performed correctly.

Learning the Pilates techniques correctly is essential as these movements if performed incorrectly could do more harm than good. There are also various videos and DVD’s available that will teach you the Pilates techniques if you prefer to do your exercises at home.

It is a good alternative for people who like something a little different than yoga.