Did you know that lack of exercise can be as deadly as smoking? Being inactive for too long can put your body at greater risk of developing disorders such as diabetes, high blood pressure, muscle pain, and cardiovascular diseases. But what is the right form of exercise for you?
Although both yoga and gym share a common goal of physical fitness and improved health, they work on your body with a different purpose and approach. While gym exercises are designed specifically for physical fitness, yoga works towards the wellbeing of both mind and body.
Losing calories at the gym
The gym is more of a power booster. You sweat it out with rigorous exercises, and benefit from getting a lean body, enhanced circulation, and stronger muscles.
Gym workouts definitely win on the calorific front. A 150 lb person burns about 85 calories during 30 minutes of hatha yoga, whereas performing a moderate-intensity exercise for 30 minutes (elliptical training, running, or cycling), can burn upwards of 100 calories. Moreover, one keeps burning calories even after the workout session, in what is known as afterburn.
That said, gym sessions could leave you feeling tired at times. Also, rigorous gym exercises are not suitable for the elderly or those suffering from fluctuating blood pressure, heart problems, or other health issues.
A good workout session can be a great way to begin your day. The best part is it boosts your confidence along with your muscles. The results are evident in just about two months. But if you stop, all at once you’ll be back to square one.
Since every exercise works over a specific area of your body, targeted fitness often requires the guidance of a professional trainer at the gym. Interestingly, there are a few exercises that can be done without gym equipment and are equally effective – jumping jacks, race walking, or using household items as weights. This way, you can lose those calories and keep fit even without spending big bucks on a gym membership.
A mindful approach to fitness
Steeped in culture and tradition; yoga can be traced back thousands of years when saints used this method to detoxify their body and nurture their health. Yoga takes a holistic approach towards health – not only does it impart physical benefits, it also enhances spiritual health and mental well-being. So, while you may not instantly lose as many calories as in the gym, you do experience high energy and positivity throughout the day.
Yoga relaxes muscles and enhances the digestive system, circulatory system, lymph system, and cardiovascular system. Apart from increased flexibility, toning, and strengthening of the body, it is also known to generate positive energy, improve concentration, and reduce stress. It is also cheaper, can be done anywhere, and doesn’t require a trainer or special equipment. All you need is some space to practice the asanas. It is perfect for senior citizens, women post-delivery, middle-aged people, youngsters, and sportspersons who are looking to reduce mental stress and revive their health.
Which one is for you?
If you don’t exercise at all, yoga is a good activity to start with instead of high-intensity exercises. However, not all forms of yoga are easy. Many can be quite challenging, such as power yoga.
If you want to lose calories quickly or build muscle mass, the gym is an obvious choice. But if you aim to include regular exercise in your lifestyle to maintain your health, yoga is the way to go.
To get the best of both worlds, make both yoga and gym a part of your lifestyle. Alternate between the two every 3-4 days. Most importantly, remain consistent in your participation and stick with the fitness choice you ultimately make.