In the last few months I have been gaining some extra weight, I haven’t changed my eating habits so just can’t account for the weight gain. I am 70 and attend yoga classes twice a week but do little other exercise apart from walking to the shops. Can you recommend anything to help stabilise my weight? The health club where my Yoga class is held also offers Pilates- would this be suitable for me?
Hetty M. Stanley, Portsmouth
Yoga is more about how you feel and Pilates about how you look. Yoga positions build endurance in every large muscle group, but strength is not the main focus. Pilates however, uses resistance and weights to build strength and works all the muscle groups resulting in a leaner, stronger body. Pilates aims to strengthen the body in an even way, with particular emphasis on core strength to improve general fitness and wellbeing.
Pilate’s exercises could be beneficial, but would not necessarily help you to lose weight.
In order to lose weight you must watch your diet closely, because many people as they age cannot understand their weight gain, commenting they eat the same as they have always done. But the truth is they are less active than in previous years. So excess calories in the food consumed simply appear as unsightly fatty deposit around their bodies. So look to reduce your food intake and walk more.
Walking is a simple, effective way to help maintain a good weight and uses the main muscles of the body. I would advise you to get out there, but don’t stroll, walk briskly! This extra activity will burn up those excess calories, help control your weight and improve your general wellbeing. Aim to walk at least 30 extra minutes each day.