Get Fit and Have Fun With the Urban Rebounder

Hi everyone!

I thought I’d let you know why I choose to work out on the Urban Rebounder.   If you’re looking to get jumping right away then just use the search box on the right and you’ll see all the rebounders that are available at Amazon.

Why am I writing this? Well, when I was thinking of buying a rebounder, there weren’t many real reviews around.

So, I thought I’d do a quick write-up to help any of you who are in the same position I was.

I’ll be going into the good and the bad points of the Urban Rebounder, cause every product has it’s good and bad points — right!

Getting fit with this rebounder is the most fun working out you’ll ever have!

I got my rebounder last year as a Christmas present(to myself!), I knew I needed some type of equipment that I could get a good cardio workout on… I’m not real fond of cardio work :)  I absolutely enjoy strength training on my Total Gym, but that just wasn’t enough to get rid of the weight I needed to lose.  All of the research I had done told me that I needed to do interval training for fat loss and doing that on the rebounder has some really impressive health benefits.  More on that in another post.

The rebounder is fabulous for a “no impact” workout, let me tell you… it would not be at all easy for me to do jumping jacks or jog on a hard surface.  But, on a rebounder it’s a snap!

I usually try to put in 15-25 minutes on the days I’m not working out on my Total Gym, that way I get my cardio and strength training… something we all need!  I’ve lost 25 pounds so far, I’ve got a few more to go, but no complaints because the weight is finally coming off easily.  That wasn’t always the case, I’ve been struggling with losing the weight ever since pregnancy — the kid’s 16 now… so I’ve been at it a LONG time!  I really think it’s the combination of the strength training and the rebounding that’s finally kicked my metabolism into high gear and if you check out the list of benefits you’ll see why I’m so thrilled with rebounding.

Here’s a short list of a rebounder’s rather impressive health benefits.

Overall Reduction in Body Fat:
Rebounding reduces body fat, improves body tone, improves your muscle tone, improves the body’s ability to burn carbs, lowers pulse rate and blood pressure.

Revs up Metabolism:
Rebounding helps you to better absorb the  nutrients from your food  and conditions all of the body’s systems to handle energy in a more efficient way.

Better Endurance:
Rebounding expands the body’s fuel storage capacity, resulting in more improved endurance.

Improves Cellular Function:
Rebounding helps the body attain absolute potential of the cells through chemical function.

Increases Respiration and Improves Oxygen Circulation:
Rebounding increases your body’s ability to circulate more oxygen to the tissues and where there is oxygen there cannot be disease.

Improves Your Muscle Tone:
Rebounding gives you a feeling of muscular vigor from increased muscle tone. Healthy muscles are important to your sense of well-being and energy.

Maintain Peak Brain Function No Matter Your Age:
Rebounding results in better mental performance, improving your ability to learn.

Improves Your Immune System: Rebounding  helps keep the entire body in tune reducing the number of colds, allergies and digestive issues.

Reduces Fatigue:
Rebounding restores your glandular system to increase the output of the thyroid, the pituitary and the adrenal glands- that will help to boost your energy level.

Lowers Blood Pressure:
Rebounding boosts muscle tone in the middle arterial muscles which will act as a buffer during high stress moments.

Strengthens Your Heart:
Rebounding strengthens the heart muscle. Increasing the G-force will create greater contraction. The muscles work harder and get stronger.

Relieves Muscle Pain:
Rebounding will give you relief from back and neck pain, from headaches and from other pains caused by the lack of exercise in the muscles and joints of the body.

Lowers Your Cholesterol:
Rebounding has been proven to help lower your cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Helps Your Lymph System: Rebounding helps keep the lymph fluids circulating throughout your entire body-which acts as the body’s vacuum cleaner.

Promotes Body Growth:
Growth of the long bones is heightened by rebounding due to the stimulating effect on the pituitary gland, which produces  growth hormone.

Stops Premature Aging:
Rebounding has the ability to reverse, prevent, or diminish hardening of the arteries.  Your mind will remain alert, skin smooth, skeleton flexible, libido intact, kidneys functioning, and your liver detoxifying.

Betters Your Sleep:
Even very light, gentle rebounding will allow your body to relax and achieve a better nights sleep.

No piece of equipment is perfect, but I have very little that I don’t like about my rebounder.  I would like a little more surface area and maybe a different color scheme since it’s hanging out in my living room!  It comes with several workouts on a DVD and there were some scratches that made portions of the DVD unplayable.  I could have called the company and gotten it replaced, but I like watching tv while I’m rebounding so it was a non-issue for me.  I did watch the DVD’s and there are some really good workouts, but I just like doing my own thing(translation… I can goof off if I want to!).

Final Thoughts

I just love my rebounder.  I can’t think of any other piece of equipment where you can jog, do jumping jacks or dance an Irish jig and get in an incredible workout that has so many fabulous health benefits!  Oh… it’s a lot of fun too!

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Will Yoga Help Weight Loss?

The answer to the question in the title of this article, ‘Will Yoga Help Weight Loss?’, is a resounding ‘Yes’. Yoga will help weight loss and has been proven to do so. Yoga will work on both your body and mind to provide a new and leaner you.

Yoga is well known for it’s abilities to create a wonderful state of relaxation in the practitioner which has been proven to lower blood pressure and many other physical ailments. It is also a great way to remove that excess weight that has been plaguing you for months or years.

The reason that Yoga is such an effective way to lose weight is that it burns calories at a much faster rate. It increases one’s metabolism, thus speeding up the rate at which calories burn.

There are many forms of yoga. Some practices, like power yoga, is a much more active form which will burn calories much faster than other yoga practices like ashtanga yoga. Power yoga though is NOT for the faint hearted. Like all forms of exercise you should check with your family doctor before setting off to engage in a new fitness regime.

It is becoming more and more recognized that overeating is related to our emotional state and our minds. Thus, a quieter mind, brought about through yoga practice will make it less likely that you will reach for that cream cake every time you get the urge.

This is not to say that you have to diet on celery and lettuce leaves. The idea of weight loss through yoga is to become relaxed about this area of your life that it causing you problems. That way you are in a better state to deal with it.

It is said that ‘what we resist, persists’.  So, stilling the mind through yoga will certainly give you a more positive outlook on life and lead to a calmer mind and body.

Now, on to the physical aspects of yoga for weight loss –

It is not difficult to see that yoga exercise will burn those stubborn calories that you have been trying to rid yourself of. Have you watched some of the asanas or poses? Any physical activity at all will help you lose weight but the turning and twisting of yoga helps to break up the stores of fat and rid them through the body’s natural processes.

Don’t let the gentler forms of yoga fool you either. It looks very serene to watch those that have been practicing it for years. It almost looks as though there isn’t much going on. Believe me, you will be surprised at how much perspiration is generated by these simple poses. When I first started off on a half hour yoga regime of simple poses, I was absolutely surprised at how much of a workout I had actually achieved at the end of it.

Things do get easier as you progress and the feeling that yoga gives at the end of a workout is second to none. You WILL get a feeling of achievement and relaxation that you may have never felt before.

Keep at the yoga regime and the calories will surely burn off like you wouldn’t imagine.

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Candida and Rebounding

Rebounding and Candida

The level of Candida bacterium in your body can definitely be impacted by exercise. Various exercises work towards optimal health in many ways and this is the case for those prone to recurring yeast infections as well. In terms of using exercise as a weapon against candida, rebounding could be the perfect exercise to help you and can help with many health benefits as well.

About Rebounding

Rebounding is a cellular type of exercise that cleanses the cells and strengthens the body’s immune system. It involves exercising on a mini trampoline, also known as a rebounder. The act of jumping can cleanse the lymph nodes and cause perspiration, which can also have a cleansing effect. It also gets your heart rate up and gets oxygen through your body, which creates an alkaline environment. Because candida thrives in an acidic environment, it’s ideal to get yourself to an alkaline state.

How to Use a Rebounder

Rebounders can be very inexpensive and start at about $20.00. Very high-end models sell for hundreds of dollars but you might be interested in a higher end model for optimal results. There are models that have pedometers on board to tell you about your caloric burn as well as ones that have optional stability bars so even if you’ve been sedentary or are elderly or otherwise handicapped, you can still benefit from using a trampoline to help you in your quest to get healthy and fight off candida.

Gentle bouncing is a great way to get started and it helps you tone and burn calories as a low impact aerobic exercise. Once you’ve gotten comfortable with your stability you can increase your activity with jogging,  jumping jacks and by exercising with hand, wrist and ankle weights.

Start by bouncing for a minimum of five minutes per day and this can help you see quick changes in your health and wellness. Just five to ten minutes a day of rebounding could substantially increase your body’s ability to successfully reduce candida bacteria production.

Fight Yeast Infections with Knowledge

Candida infections that are recurring will diminish with a change in your lifestyle that includes exercise, healthy eating and knowledge about the candida triggers in your body. Learning about triggers and cures for yourself is a learning experience but one that can benefit your health in ways above and beyond fighting yeast infections.

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Why Women Need Rebounders

NASA found rebounding to be 68% more oxygen efficient than other exercises. This means that using a rebounder uses oxygen more efficiently so you still get the cardiovascular benefits of without feeling as tired and out of breath as you would if you were doing other aerobic exercises. It is a very effective cardio activity; however, I completely underestimated the rebounder and its health benefits. As it turns out, rebounding is considered to be the most effective form of exercise because of numerous health gains, including detoxification, injury prevention, and the reversal of osteoporosis, in comparison to running and other high impact activities.


One of the major advantages of using a rebounder is its effects on the lymphatic system. Lymph helps keep bodily fluid levels balanced, as well as fight infection by removing disease-causing germs. This lymph is able to move throughout the body only by a person performing physical activity. Without exercise, the lymph is unable to remove any harmful waste and causes degenerative diseases, such as arthritis, as well as forms of cancer. The up-and-down motion of rebounding can increase lymphatic flow by 15-30 times the normal pace ( which will have a huge effect on the improvement of your immune system.

Injury prevention

The low impact exercise of the rebounder takes the unnecessary stress off of your joints, especially your ankles and knees. Shin splints are also a major cause of injury to those participating in high impact activities. Joint damage and shin splints caused by excessive stress are completely preventable if running or jogging on hard surfaces is replaced by rebounding or another low impact activity.


Not only does rebounding increase the circulation of lymph fluid and prevent arthritis, but studies have found that bone mass can actually increase as well. This finding is especially important to women who gradually lose bone mass as they age and osteoporosis sets in. Even for those who have already been diagnosed with osteoporosis, rebounding can reverse the effects and damage of this condition.

Other benefits of rebounding exercise include increased balance, improved blood pressure and cholesterol levels, prevention of the common cold and sore throat, and even a natural face lift!

Rebounders are relatively inexpensive and can be found at most sports equipment stores and websites. I recommend doing some research to find one that fits your budget and personal needs. There are also websites and DVDs available of specific exercises and programs that will help you incorporate rebounding into your workout routine.

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3 Great Rebounder Exercises

The rebounder is a mini trampoline that can bring you some excellent health benefits. Not only is it a low impact piece of exercise equipment, it’s a high results item that can bring you many benefits from a fitness perspective as well as for overall health.

One of the benefits of this piece of equipment is that it’s great both for beginners to fitness as well as those who are already physically fit and want a challenging workout.

Rebounding exercises burn more calories than exercising on the ground and takes the pressure off your joints so you can work out for longer periods of time, therefore seeing faster results. Gravity works in your favor instead of against you.

The healthy bounce,  jogging and jumping jacks are three great exercises you can do at home with your mini trampoline.

Getting Started

It’s wise to start any exercise routine with stretching. Have some water nearby too and before you start, be sure your rebounder is correctly assembled, on a firm surface and exercise in your bare feet or in running shoes to prevent slipping and injury.

Health Bouncing

Sitting or standing on your rebounder and gently bouncing is a great way to get comfortable with rebounding. Just the act of simple and gentle bouncing while standing or sitting can have significant health benefits and get you started on the road to fitness. If you’re concerned about balance and stability you can buy a rebounder that comes with a stability bar.

Basic Rebounder Jog

Jogging on the spot on your rebounder will burn more calories than jogging on the spot on the floor or ground. Jog faster or put more pressure into the jump to achieve a higher bounce.

Jumping Jacks

The rebounder is the perfect tool to accentuate the jumping jack and get more mileage out of it. When performing jumping jacks on the rebounder, you can do more of them than on the ground because you won’t feel the same harsh impact on your joints and your feet. More jumping jacks equal more calories burned and greater cardiovascular health also.

Adding Intensity to Your Workout

Any exercise on your mini trampoline will increase health benefits and exertion when you increase your arm movements, jump higher and you can even hold hand weights and wear leg weights. You can purchase 1, 2 or 5lb weights to hold while you bounce.

Twisting while bouncing or increasing your bounce to achieve greater height will also increase the intensity of the workout resulting in higher heart rate, more perspiration and more calories burned.

You can also use your trampoline for additional exercises that you’d normally do on the floor including crunches, yoga moves and even Pilates.

Advanced balance exercises should be attempted only after you’ve been exercising with your rebounder for a while so that you feel comfortable with your balance which will reduce the chance of injury.

It doesn’t take much to get results when bouncing and with only a few minutes a day you can rapidly see changes in your body tone and your endurance levels. The above basic exercises can be tailored to any workout program and in just a few minutes of rebounder exercising per day you can benefit your heart, lungs, bones, lymphatic system and trim inches of fat off your body.

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Interval Training Tips for Beginners

Maybe you are considering getting involved in a resistance training program for the first time. Or perhaps you have been training for quite a while now but find that your weight training has become stagnant. Somebody in either of these categories may be interested in trying one of the most effective types of training out there: interval training. However, if you have never engaged in interval training you really need to heed some interval training tips before jumping into a serious interval training program.

Let us begin this discussion with a brief description of interval training. You should really know what interval training is if you are considering this exciting type of workout. Like the name indicates, interval training is a workout routine that revolves around intervals. Usually, this means that you spend a designated period of time engaged in a high intensity exercise, followed by a designated period of time engaged in a low intensity exercise. In this fashion, your heart rate remains up as you are never fully allowed to rest. Likewise, if you are engaged in a resistance training interval session, your muscles remain contracted, forcing them to grow bigger and stronger.

Now on to some interval training tips: First of all, before you tackle an interval training session, make sure you are in good enough shape to handle the workout. Interval training is not for the faint of heart and it’s a good idea to warm up to interval training. In other words, before you try this training routine you should engage in a regular exercise routine for a period of weeks to work your way up to this strenuous workout.

Next, when you begin your interval training, you need to make sure you are exercising at the right level during both the high intensity and low intensity intervals.  One way of doing this is by pushing yourself to your maximum capacity for one interval, followed by an interval at a slow enough pace to recuperate enough to give it your maximum at the next high intensity interval.  Although this is not a scientific approach to interval training, it is quite effective. Generally speaking, your high intensity interval will last about half as long as your slow interval. This will ensure you are fully rested when it is once again time to push yourself.

Another interval training tip is to never engage in an interval training session without first warming up. Take a running program, for instance, where you alternate sprinting intervals with jogging intervals. It would not be a good idea to jump right into a sprint without first warming up. A good warm up session includes not only stretching but spending a period of time walking at a fast pace followed by a jog before beginning your high intensity intervals.

Interval training can produce substantial results. By incorporating this style of training into your regular exercise schedule you can take a shortcut to a healthier and happier you.

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Liven Up Your Interval Training

Interval training is a great way to up the ante on your cardio routines.  But what happens when even your interval training is getting stale?  Is that possible?  Intervals can be quite intense anyway, but sure, it’s definitely possible to get bored even of HIIT (stands for “high intensity interval training”).

So, how do you crank up your intervals?  Or at least get some interval training in that doesn’t feel like the ‘same old, same old’.

Intervals don’t have to be limited to just running but if running is your sport of choice, you can incorporate different kinds of intervals into your training.  Try finding a big hill and doing hillsprints, or finding a sandy beach and doing your sprint training in the unstable sand or better yet, the resistance by adding waves.  Or you can find a big field and sprint to one end and do a slow jog back to the other side (and repeat ).

BUT, if you’re looking to liven it up with different kinds of intervals besides running, then there’s also lots you can do.  Intervals can be done with almost every kind of cardio exercise imaginable.

Hop on your mountain bike and find a good hilly trail to cycle.  Hills add intervals to your training naturally.  Every up hill is your work interval and every trip down is your rest interval.  You don’t even have to time it.  Just keep finding hills and giving it your all on every trip up.

I have a little trick when I’m short on time and need a quick interval workout without leaving home.  Luckily I live in a highrise building in the city with a huge stairwell, so I head to the bottom of the stairwell and climb 20 stories as my work interval, until I hit the top.  Then I punch the elevator button and take a quick ride to the bottom as my rest interval and hit that stairwell again for another work interval climbing to the top.  Eight times doing this takes me 45 minutes and it’s a heck of a great workout.  It works my glutes, hip flexors, quads, hamstrings, and calves thoroughly and gives my cardiovascular system a major boost in the process.

Another cool alternative for Interval Training is to SWIM it out!  Yes, you can do interval training swimming too.  And, believe it or not, there’s lots of ways to ‘time’ your intervals when you’re underwater.  A cool gadget that’s available now is an underwater mp3 player and there are lots of different brands making these now.  So you can either load in a timed interval mp3 and use that to time your swim intervals or just pick a few songs that have a definite ‘chorus’ and ‘non-chorus’ parts to the songs and swim hard for the chorus and swim easy for the non-chorus parts.

Or, if you don’t have the budget for a swimming mp3 player, just time your intervals by counting your strokes.  Swim hard for 50 strokes and easy for 50 strokes.  Or change your strokes.  Swim hard for 50 meters of front crawl and 50 meters of breast stroke at a slower pace.  This is easier to accomplish in a swimming pool where you hit the wall and turn around for the next 50 meters (for example).  If you’re in a lake or ocean you might try swimming from buoy to buoy.

Another great and extremely easy way to do intervals that you can also do pretty much anywhere is to make sure you’ve got a jump rope with you and just start jumping.  Jump at regular pace for your rest interval and double pace for your work interval.  Count turns of the rope to time it out.  100 fast jumps for the work interval, 50 slow jumps for rest interval.

There ya go.  Interval options to keep you interested and motivated with your interval training for weeks to come. Enjoy the benefits you’re sure to see from all your hard work.

And don’t forget to have fun.

Robert Martin

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Essential Equipment for Beginner’s Pilates

For those who wish to exercise in the privacy of their own home, but do not want to have to buy expensive equipment, a wonderful way to reduce stress and tone muscles at the same time is to purchase a few Pilates essentials to get you to practice Pilates successfully!

As a beginner, the Pilates exercise equipment you will need is just some loose fitting clothes, which are as comfortable as possible in order to allow you to move easily. Another essential item is the Pilates mat and that’s all you need to get started.  As you progress to more advanced moves, this article will cover some equipment that should be helpful for you to proceed.

1) The Significance of a Pilates Mat

Most Pilates exercise involves mat work which can be considered to be the basis of Pilates exercises. The best Pilates mat should be thick and durable which can be used in gyms, homes or studios. Most of the Pilates mats are created for protecting and cushioning the spine throughout the mat work regimes.

A Pilates mat can be purchased for a relatively inexpensive price, and for the most part all gyms and fitness centers will have a Pilates mat. There are many companies that sell these mats. If you are interested in purchasing one you can do a search at any search engine.

Pilates mats can come in a variety of styles. For you to get the best ones, you need to check out their sizes, thicknesses, densities, colors, textures and materials used to get total satisfaction. You will find that typical prices for a Pilates mat ranges from US$25 to US$45. In the event you need to transport the Pilates mat to different places buy one that has attached handles and which can be folded.

2) A Pilates ring which is mostly used for Windsor Pilates

The Pilates ring is a stretchable rubber circle that is about 14 inches in diameter on the average. It can come in smaller or larger diameters, depending on what muscles are to be strengthened.

The Pilates ring was invented to sculpt core muscles. Core muscles consist of the abdominal muscles, the pelvic muscles, and the buttocks muscles. The Pilates ring is a safe way to sculpt these core muscles, which is to tighten them through endurance stretching.

In addition the Pilates ring can tone not just the core muscles but other hard-to-tone muscles in the legs. Such an exercise in which leg muscles are tightened is when one lies down on a mat and places the Pilates ring around their ankles and, lifts their legs up and down slowly in order to feel the resistance.

Pilates rings can also help to tone the arm muscles. An exercise that tightens the arms is one in which, in a standing position, the arms are raised straight over the head with the Pilates ring around the wrists and the arms slightly widened.

A participant should use the Pilates ring safely by not trying to strain the muscles too hard, which can lead to injury. These rings come in different resistance types, so it is best to start at the lowest resistance level and build up steadily.

The cost of these rings depends on the size, resistance, and manufacturer.

3) A rubber ball for the abdominal and buttocks exercises

The Pilates ball is important mainly because it is a piece of equipment which is used in so many of the Pilates routines. It helps with many different factors such as helping you gain better balance and to increase the intensity of your workout overall, both which are incredibly important to most people.

If you wish to purchase the Pilates ball, you should be able to find a selection of these balls at any store near to you that sells other forms of the Pilates equipment.

As with other Pilates equipment, if you can’t find it easily then it is a good idea to go into your local gym and ask a professional where you should go. Alternately you can seek help from the internet for all your Pilates essentials.

All the Pilates equipment  is used to add strength and value to your exercises, but you can also perform all the exercises without this equipment and still achieve the desired results although not as fast as you would with the given equipment.

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Top Six Benefits of Pilates Exercises

Pilates is the exercise of choice for dancers, gymnasts, and a host of famous Hollywood celebrities, and now it finds itself firmly entrenched in the mainstream.  So… why is Pilates so hot?

Pilates incredible popularity can be traced to the fact that it provides its faithful practitioners with benefits that you simply can’t get through the traditional aerobics/strength training format.

1. Gives You Long, Lean Muscles

If want a long, lean look without bulky muscles, but with all the strength. Would you like to build strength and endurance without getting the muscle man look? If so, Pilates may be just what you have been searching for.
There’s a reason that Pilates is the exercise of choice for gymnasts and professional dancers. Pilates does not rely on frequent repetition, and thus no overgrown muscles. Pilates focuses on the whole body, not just on sections of muscles.

2. Increases the Strength of Stabilizer Muscles

There are many benefits that one can achieve through a proper use of the Pilates program. One of the most significant points of the Pilates program is it’s ability to increase the strength of stabilizer muscles that may not commonly be worked out in a standard exercise program.

Also, since Pilates stresses the use of graceful and fluid movements, it can be a great way to get a better sense of the kinesthetics of your body. The sense of body that you can achieve through Pilates is quite significant, and many find that they are better able to balance themselves regardless of the position that they are in.

3. A Mind-Body Workout That Strengthens Your Whole Body

Another one of the benefits of Pilates is that it engages the mind and enhances body awareness. Like yoga, tai chi, and Asian martial arts, Pilates is not just a workout for your body. Joseph H. Pilates studied yoga, martial arts, and other ancient mind-body activities and included a strong philosophical foundation into the practice of Pilates.

Pilates not only helps tone your body, but your mind and spirit as well. The smooth, precise and flowing movements of Pilates are designed to make you more mindful of your body.

Breath movement is also emphasized to put you in touch with how breath moves through your body. Pilates has been demonstrated to reduce stress, anxiety, and helps lift depression. The mind-body connection is fundamental to the study and practice of Pilates.

4. Pilates Strengthens Your Core like No Other Exercise

Another one of the benefits of Pilates is the increased amount of strength that one can achieve in the ‘core’ of the body. The term core refers to the muscles in and around the area of the abdominal muscles and the back.

Proper breath control is also stressed in Pilates, adding to the numerous list of benefits that one can attain through regular use of the exercise program.

5. Prevents You from Future Injuries

Pilates strengthens your body and helps prevent future injuries. Pilates helps to condition the whole body, not just certain muscles. This helps balance the muscle and strength of the body. Since no set of muscles is ever over or under trained, there is less risk for injury. The body becomes more fluid and supple, protecting against injury.

6. Helps You Become Efficient With Your Body

Last, but not the least, one of the benefits of Pilates is that it teaches you how to become efficient with your body. Very few exercises can help your body become more efficient in its movement.

Why is efficiency so important? Being efficient means that your body moves in a way that is smoother, safer, and less prone to injury. By practicing Pilates on a regular basis, you can train your body more to move in a much safer and more efficient manner.

Benefits of Pilates for Older Adults

The benefits of pilates have been particularly noted in older adults. Older adults are more likely to suffer from symptoms of arthritis, including stiff and painful joints. Pilates practice has also been lauded for its ability to help prevent injury.

Even adults undergoing serious rehabilitation therapy can use Pilates to increase their range of motion and overall muscle strength. But is Pilates safe for all adults? Who should avoid participating in a Pilates program, and who is more likely to benefit from the program?

Consult your medical professional if you have any doubts about starting a pilates program. If you are suffering from severe degeneration or physical pain, you should take extra care before beginning a pilates program.

You should never feel pain while practicing pilates. If you do, you know that there is something wrong. Don’t be afraid to pull back if you feel overwhelmed.

Pilates was designed to progress naturally from one movement to another. If you feel stopped at one movement, don’t give up. Start at the beginning and work your way back to the areas you found most challenging.

Other Benefits of Pilates
Tone and build long, lean muscles without bulk.
Reduce stress, relieve tension, and boost energy through deep stretching.
Restore postural alignment.
Create a stronger, more flexible spine.
Increase the range of motion in your joints.
Improve circulation.
Heighten neuromuscular coordination.
Offer relief from back pain and joint stress.
Correct over-training of muscle groups which can lead to stress and injury.
Enhance mobility, agility and stamina.
Compliment sports training and develop functional fitness for daily life activity.
Improve the way your body looks and feels.

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Yoga for Weight Loss: What You Need to Know to Succeed (Part 2)

Welcome back folks.

Okay, let’s cut right to the chase for how Yoga for weight loss works.
We’ve gone over the sun salutations and if you are anything like me, you probably tried them out and are sold on Yoga “the stretching”  exercise actually burning calories.

Now let’s target the trouble spots.

Poses for Trouble Spots when Using Yoga for Weight Loss:

1. Abdominal Region: The Forward Bending Pose, the Bow Pose, the Peacock Pose, the Spinal Twist and the Triangle Pose.

2. The Arms: Definitely the Peacock Pose! the Wheel Pose, the Crow Pose, the Side Plank Pose and the 4-Limb Staff Pose.

3. The Thighs: The Bow Pose, The Shoulder-Stand, the Hero Pose, the Triangle and Wheel Poses.

4. Love Handles: The Spinal Twist, the Triangle Pose, (with practice) the Side Crow Poses, (for ease) The Side Plank Pose.

I realize the spots above are the ones most of us seem to target when trying to lose weight, so I have made sure to go over them first.

I’m under the impression that if you had searched in google or done some research on Yoga for weight loss, you must have gotten some degree of information on the poses above, or signed up for a class, bought a Yoga DVD,  something to learn some more about it, which is why I did not go over each pose in detail. But trust me, they are indeed very easy. I will emphasize though, performing the Sun Salutations (upwards of 24 rounds) should be your main focus in using Yoga for a weight loss regimen, even before the other poses.

This too will help: One pose that some Yogis and Yoginis state to be a versatile enough pose for the whole body will be the Shoulder-Stand. It is best practiced with its counter poses, in fact, since these poses have effects on the meta-physical and spiritual aspects of our lives, it will be safe to say never execute a yoga pose without counter posing it. You may throw some things out of normalcy.

Here’s a brief overview on the Shoulder-Stand as a yoga pose for weight loss:
Spread a thick blanket on the floor and place your yoga mat on it. Lie on the back. Slowly raise the legs. Lift the trunk, hips and legs to a vertical position. Rest the elbows firmly on the floor and support the back with both hands.  Raise the legs till they become vertical. Press the chin against the chest. This is the chin lock. While performing this pose, the back of the neck, the posterior part of the head and the shoulders should touch the floor. Breathe in counts of 5-5-5 (inhalation, retention and exhalation). Don’t allow the body to shake. It’s counter poses are the bridge and fish poses which will target your forearms/thighs and chest/neck respectively.

As I promised; here is the Breath of Fire breathing exercise that you can add to your yoga practice to speed up the burning of calories. (Doesn’t the name alone tell you something??)

Breath of Fire Exercise (aka Kapalabathi or Bellows Breath)

-Take a few breaths and see that the diaphragm is moving properly.  Now with the eyes closed (as they should be when performing all breathing exercises) make a sudden contraction of the abdomen with a backward push. This leads to a sudden yet firm expulsion of stagnant air from the lungs.

-Now follow this with a sudden relaxation (which naturally makes the new air rush in) now perform the exercise in this manner: passive inhalation and active expulsions at a rate of sudden abdominal push per second one after the other. A round should have 15-20 expulsions. Do not exceed 3 rounds

-You may gradually increase to 120 expulsions per round and then perform only 2 rounds. (As soon as you are doing 50 expulsions per round, do not exceed 2 rounds!) Between each round take a pause for about 30 seconds of normal breathing.

Now, there you have it, the information needed to get you started on the use of Yoga for weight loss: The poses for the trouble spots, the bellows breath, the shoulder-stand and the almighty Sun Salutations.

Remember, for the same reasons Hippocrates-the father of Medicine stated: “Let your foods be your medicine and your medicine your foods”,  you’ve got to include a proper diet when seeking to lose weight with yoga. Keep in mind this is an all too important limb of this exercise so, there’s no way around it friends. (But I’m sure you know that already).

So strike a pose, and see for yourself how Yoga for weight loss can be an effective and safe choice.

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Great workouts to lose weight and feel fabulous!

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