Is Yoga Really Exercise?
I get asked this a lot. Usually by someone who doesn’t do yoga, or someone who doesn’t care for it. Those who love it will tell you all the benefits. They will also be excited to share them with you. So what is the answer?
Studies Show Yoga Is Good For You
The trend toward high intensity workouts has reinforced the notion held by some that it doesn’t really count as exercise because most of its forms don’t make the heart pound. In some cases that isn’t exactly an accurate notion. Yoga does in fact lower blood pressure and the risk of heart disease and there are many studies out there to prove it.
Another group of studies has shown that overweight, middle aged people who had done yoga for 6 weeks had, on average lost 5 pounds (not astonishing but it is something). This compared to an average weight gain of 2.5 pounds for those overweight, middle aged people who hadn’t done yoga for the same time (again, not a huge number but it is a 7.5 pound difference).
Improve Mood and Improve Sleep Quality
The ancient practice has been linked to hormonal changes that improve mood and boost sleep quality.
Yoga Is Exercise
During Yoga your core muscles are required to generate more force than they ordinarily would. This causes an adaption response that strengthens those muscles. So yes, it is exercise. Depending on your goals and your current physical condition I would consider it a complimentary exercise or workout paired with other activities or training methods.
Lets face it, you can make almost anything “exercise” and just like almost anything – You get out of it what you put into it!
Wrapping It Up
Remember, there isn’t one best way to do anything and that especially applies to exercise, training, or working out. I currently do not teach yoga classes, to be honest, its not my cup of tea. However, you might see me once in a while trying a class – please try not to laugh at my lack of flexibility, but I’m taking it to improve a weakness. Maybe see you there.
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