If you're looking to lose weight, there are numerous types of exercise you could choose to participate in. One popular choice for many women is yoga. While it may not seem to be the best choice for shedding extra pounds, performing yoga for weight loss can actually be incredibly effective.
Yoga and Burning Calories
Generally, exercise is used for weight loss as a way to burn calories. However, one hour of traditional yoga burns approximately half as many calories as one hour of low-impact aerobics like swimming or biking. This is why many women imagine that yoga should not be used for weight loss. Yet because yoga is still an exercise that forces you to get moving and burn calories, it can still be incorporated into a weight loss plan.
If you plan on doing traditional yoga - also called basic or hatha yoga - you should consider also working other types of exercise into your schedule as well, such as running, biking, or swimming. Alternatively, there are more active varieties of yoga that may help you burn more calories per hour.
Other Benefits of Yoga
While yoga may not burn as many calories as some people want, it can provide other benefits that can help you in your attempt to lose weight.
Yoga is well-known for its ability to help people relax and relieve tension. When people are stressed, not only is their body working differently than normal - which can lead to weight gain - they also are more likely to eat more food than they need or choose unhealthy foods instead of fruits and vegetables. Using yoga as a way to manage stress can help you to lose weight by improving your eating habits.
Yoga also can help to improve your sleep at night. Sleeping the recommended number of hours per night has been found to be associated with lower body weights as well as better overall health, so you can use the sleep benefits of yoga for weight loss.
Protection from injury
Yoga improves flexibility and makes your body less likely to be injured from exertion, meaning that you have a lower chance of hurting yourself during other physical activity. This will prevent you from needing to take time off from exercise to recuperate, which could be a setback in your weight loss program.
Improved heart and lung health
Additionally, yoga improves your heart and lungs in ways that may make it easier for you to exercise harder during aerobic exercise. Exercising harder means more calories burned, which will help you to lose weight faster.
Although yoga should be incorporated into a broader weight loss plan and not relied upon by itself, it can be a powerful tool for weight loss. To learn more about losing weight, read about these healthy weight loss tips for women.