We all know that regular exercise is incredibly important to good health. Many well-intentioned people start a fitness routine with an excess of enthusiasm and then quickly burn themselves out because they did too much, too soon. In Pilates and yoga, as with all forms of exercise, the correct frequency can make the difference between a successful practice and one that falls to the side along with your fitness goals.
With this in mind, we’d like to offer some advice on determining the right frequency of Pilates or yoga practice to accomplish your health and fitness goals.
Pilates: Is a Daily Commitment Too Much?
There are two questions that people often ask when signing up for a Pilates class. Almost everyone is interested in knowing how often they should do Pilates, and if they should practice at home, outside of their scheduled classes.
The only proper response to this question is that it depends entirely upon your goals and the results you want to see.
Pilates is an excellent tool for improving flexibility, but when done with greater frequency, it can also be key in sculpting your body. Since the benefits of Pilates vary so widely, an individual’s frequency of practice will too.
For example, if you’re looking to increase flexibility or ease back pain, 1-2 sessions a week is a great start. Data supports the idea that the optimal frequency of stretching for improved flexibility is 6 times a week. What’s important to remember is that this doesn’t necessarily mean 6 days per week, or that Pilates needs to be your primary form of stretching movement. You might choose to do some light morning stretches 4 times a week and then Pilates later on 2 of the days.
However, if you’re looking to unlock the serious sculpting power of Pilates, then the answer is different. You should make a commitment to Pilates at least 3-4 times per week, letting your body be the guide to intensity and frequency. If toning up is your goal, make sure that you’re alternating the muscles groups used during each session.
Finally, Pilates is incredibly adaptable to your level of fitness and lifestyle. From once or twice a week to 10 minutes everyday and everything in between, as long as you’re honoring your body, Pilates fits into your schedule and your fitness goals.
Yoga: Finding the Perfect Fit
Much like Pilates, determining the frequency of a yoga practice is more about your physical comfort and goals than it is anything else. We hear a lot these days about daily morning yoga practice, but in some cases “yoga” is a term used to describe light stretching and mindfulness more than the practice of yoga itself.
Daily stretching is a great idea. However, yoga is more focused, and depending on the style, it can be quite intense.
If you’ve been practicing yoga for a while, let your body decide what the right frequency is. For many seasoned in yoga, once or twice a week is perfect to stay flexible and toned. If you’re new to yoga, you might want to start out with a gentler type of yoga, but with more frequency – up to 3 or 4 times per week.
We’d love to help you develop a yoga or Pilates practice that fits your needs. We offer a range of class options and are here to answer all your questions. Contact YogaCoreFit today to learn more and take a look at our class schedule.