How To Choose Between
Yoga, Pilates, Or ZumbaŽ
Getting in shape isn't easy, but it's a lot easier if you find a physical activity you really enjoy. Just about every exercise is difficult if you're a beginner. If you can fight past the initial challenges and work through those early awkward stages, you're a huge step closer to developing a healthy habit that has the potential to change your life. Yoga, Pilates and Zumba are some of the most popular workouts on the planet right now. Not only are they known as a refreshing alternative to common workouts like running or weight lifting, they're also renowned for their ability to relieve stress. If you're considering yoga, Pilates or Zumba, read on to learn a few of the essential differences between them.
Many people find it difficult to define yoga because there are so many different variations. At its root, yoga is meant to be a spiritual discipline that focuses on breathing techniques, meditation, and most importantly, physical postures. Yoga as most people know it is a physical challenge. It's also appreciated for its low-impact structure that's easier on the joints than cardio activities like jogging. Yoga improves flexibility, balance and muscle endurance while building lean muscle. Having many variations of yoga benefits beginners, as there are classes and programs designed for people who want to start slow and learn the basics, as well as advanced classes that can get heart rates up as high as any cardio activity.
What Is Pilates?
Pilates is usually confused with yoga because of their many similarities. To an outsider, the two activities can look exactly alike. The major difference is that Pilates is primarily focused with core strength. For beginners, the difficulty level for basic yoga and Pilates exercises might be hard to tell apart, and many people choose to work their way into Pilates after becoming more familiar with the basic or intermediate poses practiced in yoga. Another big difference between the two is that Pilates also incorporates resistance machines and more exercise equipment than yoga. However, many of the Pilates exercises, especially when you're just beginning, take place on the mat with no equipment necessary, just like yoga.
How To Zumba
Zumba is one of the most highly-regarded dance-fitness programs. While many of these types of programs have come and gone over the past decade, Zumba has managed to stick around. Its success is built around its ability to give people a structured, aerobic workout without making it feel like a workout. Like yoga, there are now several different types of Zumba classes or Zumba DVD sets, but almost all of the classes focus on core strength while targeting leg muscles. Unlike yoga and Pilates, it's more of a high-impact activity with high-intensity intervals that really get the heart pumping. It's the perfect cardio substitute for jogging or cycling, and it also focuses on getting the body in that ideal fat-burning zone with fun dance moves.
Best For Beginners
Yoga, Pilates and Zumba all offer levels for beginners. It's really just a matter of what interests you more. Yoga can lead to Pilates and vice-versa, while Zumba can be a nice alternative during the week to switch up your workout and have some fun with more intense cardio training. Each activity focuses on a lot of the same areas of the body such as improving core strength, so getting a basic understanding of one will definitely help prepare you to take on another. Yoga is probably the easiest to start, as it can be done in the comfort of your own home and requires nothing but a yoga mat and some instructional videos. It can also provide insight into whether you'll actually like Pilates without making you worry about investing in equipment or taking classes right away.