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Yoga vs. Pilates: Which Is Right for Your Weight Loss Goals?

by | Apr 9, 2014 | Exercise & Fitness | 0 comments

When you are deciding on the best way to work out to lose weight, and considering options apart from the usual weights and treadmill, you may find yourself facing a tossup of yoga vs. pilates. By reviewing a few facts about each of these possibilities, you can make an educated choice.

First, both yoga and pilates are great for losing weight. They offer similar benefits through different modalities. Both will burn calories, although yoga certainly trumps pilates in that respect. With yoga you can–depending on the discipline–burn 270 to 600 calories. Yoga strengthens the body, especially in the core. Yoga is also a definite ally when you are losing weight because, depending on what style and discipline you choose, you will also benefit from toning. However, the latter is also true of pilates.

If you are someone who is always sedentary and then decide to practice intense pilates, you may eliminate more than a few pounds. When you are doing exercise all the time, however, pilates will not get you far in terms of weight loss. This is because you will have already peaked out before you get to the pilates.

This also holds true for yoga: if you are sedentary, then begin a yoga regimen, you can drop significant pounds. But if you already exercise all the time, don’t expect to lose much additional weight unless you are into the Ashtanga or “hot” yoga, which involves sweating it out and making your calories burn thermogenically.

To revisit the question of yoga vs. pilates for weight loss, the answer is “yes” for either, depending on the precise style, timing, and conditions. Beyond that, the decision is a personal choice, though you should keep certain considerations in mind.

Your fitness level is one thing: if you aren’t in that good of shape, then you probably need to go with yoga vs. pilates. You can start with Hatha yoga, which is very smooth and slow and almost meditative, so that you can use it as an introduction to more challenging yoga. You need to limber up for more advanced forms of yoga, anyway, and this is the best approach. Pilates, meanwhile, is best suited for those who are at least used to floor workouts. This can be a bit strenuous; but if you have done floor work before, you should be good to go!

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