If you’ve heard that yoga was good for weight loss, you heard right. Does yoga burn as many calories as strength training? That all depends on not only the effort put forth in strength training, but the type of yoga you use. On the average, yoga actually doesn’t burn many calories. However, it’s more than sitting on the couch watching television or chatting on social media. Some faster paced types of yoga, such as vinyasa yoga, may qualify as moderate exercise, while the more sedentary styles burn few calories and don’t boost your heart rate, but are more restorative.
Vinyasa yoga still only burns about 120 calories per half hour.
If you weigh 125 pounds and walked briskly for a half hour, you’d burn approximately 135 calories by comparison. So, how does yoga really help you lose weight, besides moderately increasing your calorie output? Yoga can help lower your stress level, which means fewer stress hormones, like cortisol, which contribute to belly fat. The better you control your stress, the better you can manage your appetite and eliminate many comfort foods from your diet.
The meditation and mindfulness of yoga can help you shed pounds without trying.
When you practice yoga, you’re also practicing mindfulness. It’s a big part of many of the different types of yoga. Learning to live in the moment has its benefits for your weight, too. You learn to think more about each bite and savor the flavor of the food, rather than shoveling it down indiscriminately. You’ll be more aware when you’re hungry and tend to not eat when you’re not hungry. You’ll eat slower, which gives your brain a chance to catch up to the body and know it’s full before too much more is consumed.
Yoga can be active, or just a great way to stretch your muscles and prepare them for more vigorous exercise.
If you use forms of yoga like restorative yoga, rather than Ashtanga, power yoga or vinyasa, which are more active, you’ll still help keep you body limber and prepared for those tough workouts at the gym. Yoga can improve muscle tone and boost your metabolism in some cases. One study found that obese women benefited from even the milder form of restorative yoga. It helped them lose weight, which included abdominal fat.
- Yoga can give you a better mind-body connection, which can lead to treating your body better. That better treatment means feeding it healthier foods and enjoying the food to it’s fullest, slowing the eating so less is consumed.
- More awareness of the body and how it feels can also lead to other discoveries, like how high calorie junk food makes you feel worse and often sluggish, while natural fruits and vegetables give you energy.
- While yoga may not burn as many calories per hour as other types of fitness classes, often the classes run longer. Many HIIT—high intensity interval training—workouts last a half hour, while yoga may last as long as 90 minutes.
- Yoga can be a good way to add variety to your exercise program, but there’s nothing like strength training to burn extra calories. At Gym Slayer, we can help you with a program both in person and online that allows you to integrate other types of fitness for that variety.
For more information, contact us today at Gym Slayer