by Angela Ambrose | October 23, 2017 8:38 pm
If you’re looking for the maximum calorie burn, high-intensity aerobics is the go-to fitness activity. A vigorous one-hour swim will burn around 700 calories for the average 160-pound person. And going on an hour-long fast-paced run can burn a whopping 850 calories or more.
Compare that with a typical Hatha yoga class and you will likely burn around 180 calories. Even a fast-moving, heated power yoga class will burn just under 300 calories for that same 160-pound person, according to Mayo Clinic’s calorie expenditure guide.
But weight loss is about a lot more than just calories burned during a workout; it’s about the quality and quantity of food you put into your body throughout the day.
Although yoga has a lower calorie burn than many physical activities, it’s a powerful tool for weight loss because it helps you tune into the sensations of your body, so you are less likely to overeat when you’re anxious, depressed or bored.
Research shows that adding yoga to your fitness routine can help you keep those extra pounds off. For example, in a U.S. study of 15,500 healthy men and women in their 50s, the overweight individuals who did a minimum of one yoga session a week for at least four years lost about 5 pounds. The group that didn’t do any yoga during the same time frame gained nearly 14 pounds.
The whole foundation of yoga is built on mindfulness and being fully present in your body. Here are a few ways yoga can help you keep those extra pounds off over the long haul:
The true power of yoga lies not in its ability to burn calories, but in the mindfulness it cultivates through focused breathing, introspection and relaxation. It helps us to slow down, make better food choices and to eat when we’re actually hungry – not because we’re feeling stressed or need emotional comfort. That doesn’t mean you can’t ever have that bowl of ice cream. But if you do, make it a conscious decision and sit down and savor every sweet, creamy spoonful.
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