Health Insights: Staying fit with yoga and pilates

Asunta Simoloka

Asunta Simoloka

By Asunta Simoloka

Exercise is a key piece of a holistic approach to wellbeing; it is advisable to balance different forms of exercise including cardio, strength, flexibility, and mind-body, to reap the best possible results.

Originally from Asia, Yoga and Pilates are exercises characterized by series of movements, poses, breathing techniques, and relaxation.

Practicing yoga and Pilates on a regular basis builds strength to give your body a toned up appearance and improves flexibility and balance thus stimulating blood flow and boosting oxygen distribution throughout the body.

Therefore, yoga and Pilates are must-do exercises for people with diabetes who risk poor circulation, depriving various body parts of oxygen.  Cells in areas of the body receiving inadequate oxygen become inactive or die, resulting in diabetes complications such as amputation, erectile dysfunction, stroke, heart disease, and organ failure.  Yoga and Pilates are also effective for relieving arthritis pain and other types of body pains.

pilatesPilates , pronounced ‘pi LAH teez’, are designed to focus on strengthening the core, therefore, Pilates are extremely potent for sculpting abdominal muscles to achieve a slim, nicely toned up, and defined waistline.

Yoga and Pilates are widely recognized and touted for their mind-body aspect, a force that profoundly enhances mental and emotional wellbeing.  The breathing and relaxation techniques quiet the mind, taking you deeper and deeper into relaxation to optimize every area of mental health hence perfecting your sense of wellbeing, relieving stress, and easing anxiety.  In addition, Yoga and Pilates improve focus, clear the mind, boost mood, improve brainpower, keep you calm, treat depression, and relieve insomnia.

Namaste gestureMany people are skeptical about yoga because they associate this exercise with religious rituals which may be in conflict with a person’s religious beliefs.

Some types of yoga may involve meditation but the commonest type of yoga is just a series of physical poses and controlled breathing.

I have practiced the common yoga for a very long time and I do not find anything religious about it, if you are looking for mind-body exercises to enhance your overall wellbeing, go ahead and try yoga and Pilates, you will love the new you.  Namaste!