By Ryan Lawson, Exercise Specialist
If you’ve considered joining a yoga or Pilates class, your reasons might be to strengthen your core or become more flexible. But in addition to the physical benefits of these classes, there are numerous mental health benefits.
While Pilates focuses on the powerhouse areas such as abdominal muscles, lower back, hips and glutes, yoga has been shown to help relax the shoulders, neck and upper back, which in turn leads to an increase in muscle efficiency and stress relief.
Both classes are a great way to supplement your exercise routine with mental stimulation. The controlled, efficient breathing techniques used in yoga and Pilates have been shown to improve mood and body awareness, regulate sleep and reduce stress while increasing your sense of wellbeing. This sort of meditation during these activities can also help reduce fatigue.
The best part about these classes is that both typically require nothing more than a mat and your body. Classes can be done at home while watching a video or at a gym in a structured, supervised format.
Riverview Health offers multiple classes to help you improve your mental focus and reduce stress. Learn more at riverview.org/classes.