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Yoga Vs. Pilates

Everyone wants to have a workout that they can enjoy and have fun with, yet still get in shape and lose weight, right? People rave about yoga and Pilates and about how one or the other is better, but they both help with different parts of the body and have some differences.

One of the major differences in the two is that Pilates focuses on the core of your body meaning abs, lower back and some other muscles. But on the other hand Yoga includes many different body parts. According to Wai Lana Yoga, “Having been practiced for thousands of years, yoga includes everything from physical posture (asanas), personal hygiene, and a healthy diet to premeditation, breathing, and relaxation techniques” (wailana.com/yoga/pilates).

It can be difficult choosing which one you want to do. Each of the two has their positives and ways that they help your body. Some of the following facts and ideas will help you decide on which is better for you and what you’re looking for.

If you are looking for a way to be heart healthy, according to Oprah, “yoga provides little cardio benefit; power yoga does a bit better, giving the heart the same aerobic workout as a brisk stroll.” Another little tip according to www.Omagazine.com is that in Pilates, “expect a 50-minute beginner workout to burn about 175 calories; an advanced between 255 and 375 calories. You would probably need to do a 45- to 60- minute advanced routine at least four days a week to maintain or lose weight.” So if you are looking for weight loss you should probably work more on Pilates than on yoga considering that “a 50 minute hatha class will burn 145 calories; a power yoga class about 250 calories.”  It is probably better to just go jogging rather than trying to use Pilates or Yoga to burn off those extra inches and pounds.

Now as far as body strength and flexibility go the difference in the two is, “in a recent study, after eight weeks of doing yoga three times a week, participants boosted their total body flexibility by an average of 24 percent. In a test of strength, they managed an average of six more push-ups and 14 more curl-ups.” And for Pilates, “Pilates tends to be better at strengthening the abdominal muscles, and up to 310 percent more effective at tightening the hard-to-target oblique. Overall flexibility should also improve, particularly in the back, hip and hamstrings.”

So now that you know a little bit more about what the two different exercises do and what they are better at you can decide which is right for you. Also when you are talking to your friends about the two and all of them say they have no clue what the difference is you can say you do!

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