Is lack of time, money, or convenience impeding your weight-loss or fitness regime? If so, Pilates or yoga may be the answer. With today’s busy schedules, most of us may find it difficult to set aside time for fitness and exercise, especially at a costly gym. Pilates and yoga equipment and accessories will save you time and money in achieving your weight-loss and fitness goals with just a few minutes, a few times a week, at your convenience and in the privacy of your home.Frequently referred to as mind-body exercises, Pilates and yoga aid in increasing flexibility and joint movement; improving balance, while toning, firming, and sculpting your body. Both of these exercise techniques have a proven track record of helping people recover their full range of motion and improve flexibility and strength. In addition to improving overall health and well-being, and combined with a proper diet, Pilates and yoga exercises can accelerate and enhance your weight-loss and fitness program.What is Pilates? Pilates is a system of exercises designed to improve flexibility and strength. Joseph Pilates created this system of exercises during the First World War to improve the rehabilitation program of returning veterans. Believing that mental health and physical health are inter-related, Joseph Pilates suggested a few specific movements emphasizing control and form to help injured soldiers in regaining their healthy bodies. Out of this was born “The Pilates Principles”, a method for conditioning the entire body by strengthening, stretching, and stabilizing key muscles.The main difference between Pilates and yoga: yoga is more spiritual than physical. Both disciplines use a specific set of exercises that work the body as a whole, from the middle or “core” of the body. As with yoga, the Pilates method also teaches breath awareness and concentration to enhance its stress reduction benefits, but it has less of the spiritual and meditative components involved with yoga.Because Pilates’ history started with physical therapy, there are numerous exercises for people suffering from medical conditions such as scoliosis, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. No longer confined to physiotherapy rooms, Pilates can be found in exercise studios and gyms, or can be practiced in the privacy of your home or office. As the low impact exercises emphasize stretching and are not as physically demanding or time consuming most workouts, Pilates appeals to busy adults, especially women, with variable and hectic schedules. Pilates is accommodating enough to challenge everyone, from someone starting to get into shape to someone in their best physical condition.Luckily, practicing both or switching from one method to the other is not a problem, as nearly all the equipment and accessories are used in both Pilates and yoga exercises, making them interchangeable; a cost-savings and convenience. With the help of instructional books and DVDs, Pilates and yoga can be practiced anywhere and at your convenience.Yoga Balance/Fitness balls enhance yoga, Pilates and fusion exercise programs to firm and strengthen abs, back and buttocks.For faster, more targeted toning, Circles (rings) and discs provide resistance for improving muscle strength throughout the body; especially in problem areas such as inner and outer thighs, upper arms, and chest.Yoga and Pilates mats provide cushioning and traction and are used in most classes. Although most studios have mats you can rent to use during class, it makes more sense to purchase your own mat, for both financial and hygienic reasons.Tone, firm and shape every muscle group with resistance tubes and bands. They are good for all ages, and all fitness levels will see results in just minutes a day. It is the best way to warm-up and cool-down, as well as an excellent relief for arthritis sufferers. Resistance tubes and bands are lightweight and compact enough to go anywhere.Yoga and Pilates kits are the perfect way to get started on a great routine. These kits equip you with the right tools required to understand, learn and practice your routine effectively, and realize its powerful benefits.Which method is the best for you? That depends on your individual needs, desires, and personal preferences. If you are not looking for a spiritual workout, Pilates may be more to your liking. If you are looking for more than exercise alone, yoga may be the ticket. Regardless, both disciplines can be done in the privacy and convenience of your home or office, saving the cost of an expensive gym membership. Pilates and yoga equipment and accessories are compact, lightweight, and portable, making any room, anywhere, a potential gym. No longer are we limited to specific gym hours or locations; we don’t need to finance big, bulky fitness equipment to obtain and maintain healthy bodies. Pilates and yoga provides fitness in minutes, a few times a week, for only a few bucks.
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