Yoga is practiced by millions of people around the world, including many very fit celebrities and professional athletes who use it to supplement their regular training regimen and enhance their performance.
And yes, this effortless exercise that allows people to work at their own level can have profound effects on weight loss.
While yoga does not burn calories at the rate that other cardiovascular exercises do, it is still an effective and viable weight loss option.
Here are 5 ways yoga works for weight loss:
The mind body connection
Yoga, unlike other workouts, includes breathing as the focal point and the full integration of mindfulness with physical movement.
This mindfulness practice doesn’t go away when you leave the yoga mat, with regular practice it stays with you and affects all parts of your life.
This intense focus makes you pay better attention to your body, and that includes what you eat and generally produces a high level of body awareness.
The mind is really what controls everything we do, and yoga can help change negative behaviors in this way.
It can help you decipher boredom from real hunger, relieve emotional overeating and binge eating too. Yoga makes you pay attention and think in a whole new way.
A study published in the Journal of Qualitative Health Research showed that women’s binges were reduced after practicing yoga for just 12 weeks. This was accomplished by developing present moment awareness, which resulted in them eating less.
In addition, since yoga promotes relaxation and greatly reduces stress and anxiety, it can be of great help in curbing emotional and overeating.
– Yoga relieves aches and pains, which can encourage people to do other types of workouts.
– For those who fear high intensity cardio, such as running, walking or cycling, yoga is a completely different experience that has no impact and can get those who never move to do it, at their own pace, and movement of any kind is better than none.
– Yoga is also the ideal starter workout for those who have been immobile for their entire lives or who have had little exposure to exercise.
Loosen muscles and increase range of motion
Other great benefits include that it loosens muscles and improves flexibility and range of motion. This is important for overweight people who often need it due to lack of exercise and can also help correct poor posture that comes from being overweight.
Abdominal fat reduction
Belly fat is the most dangerous of all fats and is known to be exasperated by increasing levels of cortisol in the body.
Yoga has been shown to lower cortisol and consequently can help prevent and reduce belly fat. This is especially true for women over 40 who struggle with abdominal fat.
A study funded by the National Institutes of Health evaluated women who performed restorative yoga, which is a type in which poses are held for long periods of time, and found that they lost 2% more body fat compared to women who simply did. stretched.
Another study published in the Journal of Alternative Medicine reported that men who performed daily yoga breathing exercises lost about 4 pounds in just 10 days.
Yoga also works to tone your glutes, arms, back, legs, and other muscles, so if you are on a weight loss regimen, you can help those muscles burst as your body fat melts away. .
Additionally, lean muscle mass uses body fat for fuel, even when at rest, and this means prolonged fat burning throughout the day for much more effective weight management.