People think that fitness is a full-time job. Being fit is supposed to enhance your whole life, not be your whole life. You want to be able to do your workout and then lift your kids up, take the stairs, carry your groceries and feel relaxed, not worry about being in the gym for hours.
MEMBER QUESTION: So you recommend free weight to exercise machines?
LINGUVIC: Yes. Free weights do more for your body than exercise machines.
MEMBER QUESTION: Does the size of the exercise ball matter?
LINGUVIC: Yes. If you are under five feet tall, use a 45-centimeter exercise ball. If you are under five foot six, 55 centimeter, and if you are between 5 foot 7 and 6 foot 1, use a 65-centimeter ball. A good way to test it, if there's a couple of balls in the gym or you are trying it out at a store, you should be able to sit comfortably on it at a 90-degree angle.
If you are a beginner, there's a special ball called a physioball. There's a picture of it at my web site, which is www.leanlongandstrong.com. It looks like a peanut and it's more for beginners because it only rolls forward and back instead of forward and back and to the side. A physio roll is an excellent beginner option.
LINGUVIC: Pilates is an excellent exercise to stretch and to connect to your core muscles, but it doesn't really do anything to get you stronger after a certain point, especially in your upper body.
Pilates is an excellent complement to strength training, but it is not enough to truly change the shape of your entire body.
As for yoga, it is a wonderful form of exercise. But it is not the best way to change your body. I practice yoga for the relaxation benefits of it and the breath control. Everyone in my yoga class asks me how to get cuts in their arms. Yoga is an excellent complement to strength training but it does not change your body the way strength training does.