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The Best Advice On ... Yoga And Pilates

21. Pay attention to your body and your breath. When you do yoga and Pilates, you coordinate your movement and breathing. Concentrating hard on inhaling and exhaling pushes all other thoughts -- deadlines, dinner commitments, in-law issues -- to the back burner. As a result, you'll have a quieter mind and a stronger body. (Sept. 1998)

22. Do yoga for your health. In a study at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio, people who suffered from migraines, carpal tunnel syndrome and neck strain did 90 minutes of yoga three times a week for a month. They reported better moods, less pain and a decreased need for medication. (May 2002)
2006 Update Yoga relieves some types of lower-back pain better than traditional exercise, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

23. Love Pilates? Don't skip cardio. While it's an effective way to tone your body and increase your flexibility, Pilates doesn't keep your heart pumping in your training zone, which is key for burning more calories and improving your cardiovascular fitness. Supplement your program with aerobic workouts at least three times a week. (July 2005)
2006 Update Ditto for yoga! In a study by the American Council on Exercise, a 50-minute hatha yoga session didn't provide an aerobic workout and burned just 144 calories.


The Best Advice On ... Stretching 24. Do it regularly. On most days post-exercise (never do it cold), stretch every muscle group you used, holding each for 30 seconds. Increasing your range of motion may make you less prone to injury during everyday activities. (Sept. 1993)

25. Do it to get stronger. Some research shows that stretching the muscle group you just worked between sets can increase strength gains by 19 percent. (Sept. 1999)
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