A fun and effective hybrid workout.

Sometimes, the best workouts are the ones that provide a great variety. Fitness experts rave about combining cardio and strength training into a workout for a well-rounded exercise routine. It works your body in as many ways as possible to maximize results.

A fun and effective combination is Yogalates: the hybrid between Yoga and Pilates. 

Yogalates was created in Australia by Louise Solomon. She began as a yoga student but had to stop as the result of an injury. Later, she became a student and then teacher of Pilates, drawn to the exercise by its strengthening and toning powers. She missed the spiritual side of Yoga, though, so she decided to combine the two into one all-encompassing workout routine.

Pilates strengthens the entire body, especially the core. And Yoga focuses on breathing, mental relaxation and stretching. They are great on their own, but even better together.

Solomon combined the meditative, Eastern Yoga workout with the strengthening, Western Pilates workout. In her book, she explained that people of the West have such sedentary lifestyles; they are not prepared for extreme Yoga poses. This makes them more likely to be injured. Yogalates is the perfect balance.

Solomon said that Yogalates, over the course of several weeks, can create amazing results. You will begin to see the lean and toned muscles of Pilates combined with the flexibility and strength of yoga. It creates a long, toned slenderness rather than bulky muscles.

The focus on breathing helps increase lung capacity, endurance and stamina.

Another benefit for women is the maintenance of bone density. This low-impact exercise helps maintain bone density, important after menopause to prevent osteoporosis and arthritis. It also effectively strengthens the back.

As with all workouts, Yogalates can be modified for any fitness level. 

To create a toned, healthy yet relaxed and peaceful body, try Yogalates.

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