Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice or discipline which originated in ancient India.
Apart from the spiritual goals, the physical postures of yoga are used to alleviate health problems, reduce stress and make the spine supple in contemporary times. Yoga is also used as a complete exercise program and physical therapy routine.
Can I use yoga for weight loss?
According to Donald Hensrud, M.D. from the Mayo Clinic: “Most types of yoga don’t have the same level of calorie-burning power as aerobic exercise does. Consider that a person who weighs 150 pounds (68 kilograms) will burn 170 calories in an hour of doing basic (hatha) yoga, compared with 340 calories for an hour of low-impact aerobics.
But any physical activity is good activity. Yoga will get you moving, after all, and it can provide health benefits such as improved blood lipid levels and enhanced mood.
Regular physical activity should be part of any weight-loss plan. To lose weight, you want to reduce the calories you take in and increase the calories you burn. If you want to do yoga, the smart play is to include it in an exercise plan that includes aerobic activities, such as biking, jogging, brisk walking or swimming.”
Here are some amazing health benefits of daily yoga that you should know about:
- Yoga helps you find a sense of calm that is common in our busy and hectic day to day life.
Lower Risk Of Heart Disease.
- As part of a healthy lifestyle, yoga may lower cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar, according to Harvard Health Publications.
- Yoga has been shown to improve mood and anxiety more than some other metabolically-matched exercises, such as walking.
- A research group from Boston University School of Medicine also tested yoga’s effects on lower-back pain. Over twelve weeks, one group of volunteers practiced yoga while the control group continued with standard treatment for back pain. The reported pain for yoga participants decreased by one third, while the standard treatment group had only a five percent drop. Yoga participants also had a drop of 80% in the use of pain medication.
- Yoga helps to improve flexibility and mobility, increasing range of movement and reducing aches and pains.
- Yoga teaches people to take slower deeper breaths. This helps to improve lung function and trigger the body’s relaxation response.
Yoga brings both mental and physical benefits, and just like training for marathons, it will take a bit of time to get to where you want to be. And, once you get there, you’ll probably find it tough to not keep going.
Before you start a new exercise program, be sure to check with your doctor.