Yoga is a great form of exercise which can help people to lose weight and to get in shape. It builds strength and flexibility, and promotes the correct use of a range of muscles, including ones that are often overlooked when people are working on their physique. Even bodybuilders and strength athletes can benefit from doing a little bit of Yoga because it can help them to get fitter and stronger, faster.
One area where Yoga is misunderstood is in the world of fat loss. It is often repeated that you can’t out-train a bad diet, and that is certainly true. If you want to get in the best shape possible, then you must count calories as well as making sure that you get enough exercise. Simply doing some cardio, weight training or yoga will not get you into great shape. However, Yoga can promote fat loss.
Why Yoga is So Useful
Yoga promotes fat loss in two ways. Firstly, it is a form of strength training exercise – albeit a misunderstood one. This means that when you do Yoga you end up building muscle, which helps to boost your metabolic rate. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, so someone with a lot of muscle mass burns more fat during their day to day routine – whether that routine involves exercising or just sitting in a chair.
The other way that Yoga helps you to lose weight is by reducing stress. This has two benefits. Firstly, when you are stressed your body takes glucose and looks to store it as fat, because it expects that there will be a stressful situation ahead – one where you need the energy. Admittedly, even if you are stressed you will lose weight when you are in a calorie deficit, but if you are stressed there is more chance that the weight will come from muscle, rather than fat, because the body will preferentially store the fat. Yoga reduces your stress levels, therefore reducing your cortisol levels, and stopping this behavior.
Yoga also helps people to feel better in terms of their day-to-day life. If you are an emotional eater (and a lot of people are) then simply reducing your stress levels through yoga will help you to control your calorie intake, therefore helping you to get and stay slim.
The best way to learn yoga is to take a class, but not everyone can do this. If you are unable to attend a yoga class, consider doing some yoga every morning at home. There are plenty of videos about yoga – and exercises such as Sun Salutations are easy to learn and incredibly beneficial. You can do those every morning before you go to work, or do them just after you get out of the bath or shower, when you are already feeling nice and supple.
Yoga is a brilliant form of exercise, and it is something that everyone – male, female, young or old can benefit from. It does not matter whether you are fit and flexible or not when you start. Everyone can make Yoga work for them. The stronger and more flexible you are, the more advanced exercises you can do.
Yoga will get you into great shape, and you will have a lot of fun doing it. Try yoga today and see how you like it. It could change your life in more ways than one, helping to reduce your stress, soothe your mind, tone your muscles, and melt the fat away. There are few other sports where you can say that!