Find Your Inner Peace and Lose Weight with Yoga

Yoga has become as widespread as the fitness centers, health clubs, and gyms that offer the classes in the last few years. It has become common knowledge in fitness circles that yoga provides an excellent way to increase strength, stamina and balance through a series of specialized stretching, posing and breathing exercises that makes up a yoga session. While stretching and working muscles is obviously a great way to keep fit, the question remains: can yoga actually help you lose weight? The somewhat surprising answer is, “yes!”

Yoga is claimed to burn about 250 calories an hour. While that is certainly not high (about the same as a brisk one hour walk), yoga works to help you lose weight by enabling your calorie-burning cardiovascular workouts to become much more effective and pack a bigger punch. Yoga greatly improves posture, flexibility, and strength which in turn allow you to run at greater distances at longer intervals, effectively burning more calories. Using this logic, yoga would be beneficial for any type of cardio workout, from the stair climber to the elliptical trainer.

Yoga also gives your metabolism a huge boost. Because it forces you to utilize and strengthen your muscles in order to complete the exercises, yoga stimulates the thyroid gland, the organ that most affects the body’s metabolism. Additionally, yoga tones the muscles to make them sleeker and tauter, which also helps you appear slimmer.

Yoga can also act as a welcome distraction for those that need to lose weight because they eat when they are bored or emotional. Food used as a crutch can be a very dangerous prospect and many such overeaters have found that they can effectively replace their previous crutch of eating with a healthy yoga class and have found that they greatly prefer the latter.

There are varying types of yoga and naturally the more vigorous types will elevate your heart rate more, giving you a better chance at obtaining a better weight loss return. Some of these types of yoga include Ashtanga and Power Yoga, both of which incorporate cardiovascular exercise into the sessions, which elevates the heart rate and exercises core muscles.

While yoga definitely shouldn’t be the only exercise that you utilize to reach your weight loss goals, its supplemental benefits can make reaching those goals a bit easier in the long run.

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