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Yoga, Pilates, weight training- The best out of 3?

In today’s time, when everybody is getting conscious of their health both physically and mentally, people are looking for different ways in which they are comfortable and that can be incorporated into their daily lifestyle to give them optimum health benefits. Being conscious is not just limited to what you look physically but it involves a lot more than this. It involves everything that is related to yourself, which can be memories, feelings, or even thoughts that you have. When you are aware of every aspect, you have a better chance of getting fit and achieving your health goals easily. Having adequate knowledge and making informed choices will benefit you even more if you Want to see yourself thriving and happy. 

For a long time, people have been convinced that there should be Some form of exercise that should be included in their everyday routine to stay healthy. But very few people are aware that not every exercise is meant for everyone. There are certain forms of physical activities that are beneficial for one individual but might not serve the requirements of another.  Here, we will discuss the different physical activities like Yoga, Pilates and weight training and what is the right exercise for you. The benefits of each exercise are incredible, but as every individual is different, one form of exercise might benefit an individual more than others. Discussing what the different forms of exercises do to your body will help you better inform choices on what kind of exercises should be incorporated into your routine to give you maximum benefit. 

Yoga and its benefits

Yoga is very essential for anyone who wants to enhance the body’s natural tendency to be healthy and agile. The self-healing properties of your body are increased when you are more into Yoga and It tends to increase your body’s natural capacity for resistance and healing. Yoga is a very effective and unique physical activity that can be performed by anyone without any issues. The intensity of the workout can be changed depending on the physical needs and requirements of each individual. If someone wants to keep it low and light and still wants to move towards efficiency and betterment there is no other approachable And practical way of physical activities that can benefit you. 

The sole purpose of practicing Yoga is to increase your body’s strength, your awareness of your body, and bring harmony between your body and your mind so you have a more focused and healthier outcome. The practice of Yoga is meant to create strength, awareness, and harmony in both your mind and body. It involves practicing different types of breathing techniques, meditation, and postures that create this harmony and make you healthy with a sound mind. These poses are known as Asanas, and the breathing techniques are also considered important along with each asanas to get an optimal result. It not only makes you healthier, but it also helps you become much more flexible and strong than you ever were before.

Following regularly will help you in making your body much more stronger and resistant to diseases than it was before. It also enhances the natural tendency of the body to heal itself which also helps you in long term health maintenance.

Physical benefits that you are going to feel

The techniques involved in Yoga meant to channelize your energy is in the healing capacity of your body and making a perfect balance. This way the major part of  the technique goes into relaxation that your body needs and slowly works on problems at areas thereby lowering the headache, back pain, arthritis or any other issue. It keeps your blood pressure in check and if someone suffering from insomnia yoga can be of great help in curing it.

  • Increasing flexibility.
  • Improvement in muscle tone and strength
  • Better energy balance, improved respiration, and vitality.
  • Better cardiovascular activity and improved circulatory health.
  • Reduction in weight.
  • Better metabolism.
  • Improved muscle activity and athletic strength.
  • Protection from injury and faster healing.

Mental Benefits you will experience

One of the most important advantages of following Yoga is not just limited to Physical effects but the fact that stress, anxiety, and other mental  issues that people are surrounded with can also be treated or reduced to a great extent when you practice Yoga. 

The incorporation of meditation and breathing in Yoga can help improve the mental well-being of a person. The regular practice of Yoga brings about clarity and calmness of the mind, development of body awareness, relief of chronic stress patterns, relaxation of the mind, centering of attention, and sharpening of concentration. The sense of body- and self-awareness is especially helpful due to the possibility of early detection of physical problems and allowance for early preventive action.

Pilates and its benefits

A combination of aerobic as well as non-aerobic exercises is put together to make this effective form of exercise as the Pilates. It is due to focusing your mind on the exercises and then doing certain moves that are specifically designed for an individual. The movement generated by this form develops a lot of core strength for the one practicing it. So, if you want to strengthen your core for your specific name, then the specific placement breathing and rhythm that this exercise or form of physical activity contains is the best one for you. It is said that core health is very important when it comes to having a healthy cut and an overall balanced body. If your core is strong, then you will be able to develop good gut strength, and Will not only have a healthy physical body but will be able to have a better metabolism for the future as well. So when you are working towards developing your core strength you are actually working towards building a body that not only looks clean and attractive but also is strong and flexible at the same time.

Exercises do not fatigue the muscles, but rather exercise the mind as much as the body and can be performed without breaking a sweat or feeling exhausted. Exercises are done in sets of five to ten repetitions, and the workouts last from forty-five to ninety minutes. There can be different ways of doing the exercises. One can be mat-based exercise, while there are also equipment-based exercises depending on the trainers. It is crucial that the mixture of body weight training and equipment based exercise are customized as per the individual need. For this, it is essential that you go to an expert trainer who is well-trained with the techniques. The trainer or the expert will look at your overall structure and the areas that need more focus and will build a program that will include the involvement of muscles of that particular area much more than the other muscles. This way, you can develop a lean structure that is attractive and makes you look as you might want. After putting in effort in this program, you will have a lean and flexible structure with strong muscle that will help you burn fat easily without putting in a lot of effort in the future. 

Pilates is an individualized method, and exercises are evaluated regularly to ensure the proper exercises are in the program. The customized nature of the program makes it extremely practical for anyone who wants to do it and become healthy. The restricted mobility not only makes it doable for the athletes but also for regular people who have low fitness and want to become healthier slowly and steadily. The exercises are customized as per the individual requirements since the requirements over time might change or need some enhancement then the workout region can be changed according to the needs of the individual.

Health Benefits of Pilates:

  • Gradual increase in flexibility
  • Building muscles and toned body, especially on the core section that includes the buttocks back abdominal region.
  • Building strength that is balanced on both sides of the body equal involvement of muscles on both sides. Increase muscular control of the back and limbs
  • Strangling and balanced building of the spine to create a stable structure.
  • Overall better posture
  • Helps in preventing injuries by balancing the muscles and increasing muscle resistance.
  • Releasing tension from back,  neck, and Shoulders.
  • Improve the capacity of your lungs and circulation with better breathing.
  • Prevent musculoskeletal injuries
  • Improve concentration
  • Body awareness and consciousness are increased
  • Stress management and relaxation

Who is it for?

There are different levels involved with Pilates so you can choose your level as a beginner or advance. The body weight is the main part  around which the session is designed. The use of body weight is done in various exercises and you can also be asked to use different equipment depending on what suggestions that trainer provides.

A typical Pilates workout session involves a variety of exercises and stretches executed with proper breathing technique and abdominal muscle control. To gain maximum benefits, one should practice Pilates at least two or three times a week, and noticeable improvements in posture are commonly observed within 10 to 20 sessions.

Types of Pilates:

  • Mat-based Pilates: These are floor exercises that use your body weight and gravity to create a resistance and condition your deep muscle engagement for betterment of your posture coordination and balance.
  • Equipment-based Pilates: There are various forms of exercises but Pilates can be done both on mat as well as on equipment. When there is a specific requirement to build resistance or engage a certain muscle, then equipment like spring load resistance we use to help the individual for home the particular exercise regime is built. Another example is a reformer which is postal hold along its tracks and resembles a moving carriage and engages all the core muscles and gives maximum impact in less movement.

Quality in a Pilates Workout:

Pilates consists of slow, flowing, sustained exercises executed with proper abdominal control and breathing. Quality of posture is emphasized rather than the number of repetitions or the amount of energy expended.

There are numerous books, online videos, and various other resources, but to see the most benefit from Pilates, it is best to instruct with a qualified Pilates professional.

General Precautions:

While Pilates is a low-impact activity, there are those for whom it is prudent to seek professional medical advice before starting any new program. This includes:

  • People who have recently undergone surgery
  • Women who are pregnant or have some medical issues.
  • Women who are older than 55 and men who are older than 45.
  • People who have heart conditions or cardiovascular issues.
  • People who have had muscular or skeletal injuries before. 
  • People who have exercised less or not at all for a very long time
  • People who are obese or overweight
  • People are more prone to risk as per the free exercise screening done by experts.

By taking these precautions, Pilates can provide a safe and efficient way of improving overall fitness and well-being.

Weight training and its benefits

People who want strength, flexibility, and proper toning of the body and prefer a program to avoid the risk of injury or reduce it to a great extent and want to experience faster results often choose weight training. If you have a time constraint and want to give your body the best and most effective training, then strength training or weight training is the one you should consider. The involvement and engagement of different muscle groups to perform a particular physical activity, like lifting weights or doing a push-up, make it more practical if you are looking for comparatively faster results. 

With a lot of evidence and research that shows the benefits of following strength training it has become one of the fundamental parts of most exercise regimes that are created by experts. Strength training will include all kinds of muscle engagement which puts together resistance training, weight training and muscle training to get the best results.

The physical movement of the body using your body weight or equipment like resistance bands and dumbbells to increase the strength of muscles by involving the muscles of a particular area and building endurance and strength over time is the basic definition of strength training.

1.Makes You Stronger

Strength or weight training helps build and maintain muscle mass, making everyday tasks easier to perform. You Develop the right muscles and strength to carry out your everyday choices very easily. If you want to lift your kids or carry your heavy groceries and move your furniture all by yourself, then practicing strength training enhances your abilities to be able to perform well in the activities without getting injured or getting tired easily.  Your strength is increased, and your overall abilities are improved by giving you a new sense of self-confidence and motivation to be self-dependent. However you need to be regular and weight training as in when you want to have time dedicated to this training. However less it is, It should be a part of your daily routine. If you are a sports person or an athlete then weight training is also extremely helpful for you as it helps you in enhancing your capability and pushing you to do well in your field.

2. Burns Calories Efficiently:

If you are looking to improve your metabolism, then Strength training boosts it in two significant ways. The first thing it will do is increase your metabolism rate, which happens due to first building muscle and then enhancing your metabolism by activating fat burn and usage at a faster pace. This will happen when you start your weight training, and you will see that your body has started burning fat even when resting.  The muscle building and repair take place in your body every day at all times. This pace is faster, which makes it a fat-burning machine to create strength and energy in your body. Second, your metabolic rate remains elevated for up to 72 hours after a strength training session, meaning you continue to burn extra calories long after your workout is over.

3. Decreases Abdominal Fat:

Visceral fat is stored around the abdomen and can lead to chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and various cancers. Several studies have shown that strength training might significantly reduce both abdominal and overall body fat, improving your overall health and reducing disease risk.

4. Can Help You Appear Leaner:

As you move on with strength training, you will see that you lose fat and start building muscles, which will make you appear leaner and stronger. When you build up muscles, that space taken up by muscles is less as they are denser than fat, making your body look lean and attractive. This is why you will find that you lose your inches and look slim while your scale does not get affected soon. You build muscle and lose fat, you will appear leaner.

5. Decreases Your Risk of Falls:

Strength training keeps you in balance and improves coordination, thereby lowering your risk of falls. Exercising with strength training has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of falls among older adults. Exercises that work on balance, resistance, and functional movements help maintain stability and mobility, which are essential in preventing falls and related injuries.

6. Reduces Injury Risk:

When you are working on strength training and muscle building then you are not only making your muscles strong but you are also making them resistant to injuries. Adding strength training to your routine reduces the chances of injuries by increasing the strength, flexibility, and mobility of muscles, ligaments, and tendons. It also corrects muscular imbalances that can lead to overcompensation and poor movement patterns that may bring about injuries. The strengthening of muscles around major joints such as knees, hips, and ankles gives them added support and protection.

7. Enhances Heart Health:

Regular strength training can improve cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure, reducing levels of bad cholesterol, and improving blood flow. Stronger muscles promote better functioning of the heart and blood vessels. Moreover, maintaining a healthy weight and controlling blood sugar through strength training minimizes the risks of heart disease.

8. Controls Your Blood Sugar Levels:

Strength training can be used to improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels by promoting the intake of glucose into muscle cells. This serves to reduce the chances of both developing type 2 diabetes and dealing with its complications. More significant muscle mass makes it easier to control blood sugar better, thereby reducing the chances of developing complications.

9. Increases Mobility and Flexibility:

Contrary to what people believe, that strength training tends to make one stiff, it actually increases mobility and flexibility by increasing the range of motion in joints. Building up muscles around joints increases their stability and function, thereby making the movement smoother. Full range-of-motion exercises ensure that you utilize the full potential of your joints, leading to superior flexibility in general.

10. Enhances Your Self-Esteem:

Strength training can improve self-esteem considerably by providing a means of achieving fitness goals and appreciating the power of the human body. Overcoming challenges in strength training will improve one’s belief in their capability to succeed in other areas of life. Self-efficacy and image improve with strength training, leading to improved self-esteem.

11. Strengthens Your Bones:

Strengthening bones and maintaining them is an essential part of the function of strength training. Weight-bearing exercises cause bone growth and strengthen the skeletal system to avoid osteoporosis and fractures. This is important as one ages, but it’s a benefit at any stage of life in maintaining bone health.

12. It Improves Your Mood:

Regular strength training is linked to improved mood and mental health. Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood enhancers. In addition, the sense of accomplishment that comes with reaching a strength training goal, on top of all the physical gains, contributes to a positive outlook and a decrease in symptoms of anxiety and depression.

13. Enhances Brain Health:

Strength training leads to good brain health through improved cognitive function, such as memory, processing speed, and executive function. Strength exercises improve blood flow in the brain, decrease inflammation, and increase the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor—a molecule associated with learning and memory. This helps in the prevention of age-related cognitive decline.

14. It Enables You to Have a Better Quality of Life:

Health-related quality of life has been associated with strength training, which enhances both physical and mental well-being. It helps with managing pain, improves physical functioning, and increases vitality. In the case of people with conditions such as arthritis, strength training reduces pain and improves their ability to conduct everyday activities, which greatly enhances their quality of life.

As shown above, strength training improves overall health and well-being beyond physical strength.

Wrapping it up-

Which is better for you? yoga, Pilates or weights? Well, it all depends on your goals, preferences and physical status.

Yoga is great for increasing flexibility and balance, decreasing stress and for overall psychological well-being. Yoga focuses on breathing, meditation, stretching, and strengthening the muscles. Thus, it is very good for people who wish to increase their flexibility with less pain and reduce stress and for those who seek a mind-body connection.

Pilates is a form of exercise which focuses on core strength, stability and body conditioning. It corrects posture, tones muscles and improves balance. Thus it is suitable for those who wish to tone their core muscles, improve posture and alignment. Pilates is also great for rehabilitation and for those who seek a low impact exercise.

Weight training is the best form of exercise for increasing muscle mass, strength, and bone density. Thus, it is suitable for those who wish to gain muscle, burn fat and for those who seek to improve their physical strength. Weight training can be designed to suit different fitness levels and objectives and is therefore suitable for all populations.

In conclusion, the “better” exercise for you depends on your objectives:

  • If you seek flexibility and to reduce stress, Yoga might be your answer.
  • If you seek core strength and body conditioning, Pilates is probably the way to go.
  • If you seek to build muscle and gain strength, weight training is likely the answer.

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