Yoga and exercise are two of the most commonly recommended ways to lose weight, and they can also help you boost your energy levels, improve your mood, and keep your bones strong as you age. But do these two activities really work better together than on their own? We’re going to look at the benefits of yoga and exercise separately, plus the best ways to combine them into one killer weight loss regimen. So keep reading to discover what might be the ideal combination of yoga and exercise for you!
Weight loss without exercise? That’s not possible, right? Not exactly. There are many ways to lose weight that doesn’t require sweating it out at the gym. In fact, losing weight can often be as simple as cutting calories from your diet. But remember: Cutting calories is different than doing nothing to shed extra pounds. If you want to slim down for good, you need to add physical activity into your daily routine.
Another way to help shed pounds is by taking up a physical activity, such as yoga or swimming. Not only will you burn calories, but you’ll also tone muscle. Just make sure that whatever activity you choose fits into your calorie budget for the day so that you don’t end up gaining weight instead. For example, if an hour-long workout burns 300 calories, then working out two hours each day may cause your body to consume more than it burns during those two hours—and once again, actually result in weight gain. A good rule of thumb is to burn at least as many calories in exercise as you eat during one day.
Ditch the Juice
People often turn to fruit juice as a healthy alternative to soda, but these are typically no better. Just like soda, fruit juices have tons of sugar—and some juices can even have more sugar than cola. If you’re trying to lose weight safely, it’s best to ditch both for water. Water is calorie-free, so you can drink all you want without any guilt or repercussions.
If you absolutely need a juice fix, choose 100% juice that has no added sugar. If you need some flavor, adding in some lemon or lime is your best bet. You can also dilute fruit juices by half with water for a milder flavor. But remember: these substitutions don’t mean you can drink as much fruit juice as you want. One 12-ounce serving still has about 150 calories—more than a medium apple—and 30 grams of sugar or more, so don’t go overboard. It’s also better to limit juices to one per day because they contain large amounts of fructose, which isn’t beneficial for your health when consumed in excess amounts.
Eating healthier is easier said than done, but when you’re trying to lose weight, it’s important to start making better food choices—and exercise plays a big role in that. It can help improve your digestion so you digest food more efficiently and with less waste; it can also help build lean muscle, which will ultimately increase your metabolic rate. The stronger your body is overall, the better it is at helping you maintain a healthy weight. (And if yoga really turns out to be as good for us as they say, imagine how much stronger we’ll all be!)
It can be difficult to know exactly how many calories you should eat, but doing some research on healthy eating habits is a good place to start. You don’t have to change your diet drastically; instead, make small tweaks over time. Start by cutting back on drinks that are full of sugar or fat (like soda, for example) and increase your intake of water, green tea, or other healthy alternatives. If you don’t like water straight from the tap, try adding a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or herbal teas—it can help make it more palatable. Make sure you get in plenty of whole grains too; they provide valuable fiber and antioxidants.
For most people, losing weight boils down to a few simple rules:
1) Eat fewer calories than you burn;
2) Avoid excess sugar, refined carbs, and processed foods;
3) move more throughout your day. If you can follow these rules while eating healthful proteins (lean meats, fish, eggs), filling fats (nuts and olive oil), a wide variety of colorful vegetables, quality carbohydrates (like whole grains or quinoa), healthy sources of fat (olive oil or coconut oil), and drinking plenty of water each day—then weight loss will follow.
While it’s not necessary to eliminate any specific food groups completely—especially if you have certain health conditions or allergies—you may benefit from avoiding refined carbs like white bread, baked goods, pasta, and anything else made with added sugar. You can also consider eliminating processed foods that are high in preservatives, sodium, or other chemicals. You can read ingredient labels to see how much sugar has been added to your food or drink. The label will also tell you how many servings are in a package (which is helpful when using portion control) and give a nutrition facts breakdown of each serving size so you know exactly what you’re eating.
Get Fit at Home
Yoga and exercise both have demonstrated positive effects on overall health, but one is not necessarily better than another. Rather, it’s important to choose something you’ll actually stick with over time. Most people, should try different things until they find something that fits into their lifestyle, said Christine Gerbstadt, a registered dietitian and professor at Penn State University. It might be yoga, or it might be an exercise DVD—the important thing is that you will make a commitment to exercising every day or at least 5 times per week.
Your body composition is important when losing weight. The leaner you are, says Gerbstadt, and not necessarily your body mass index (BMI), the easier it will be to lose weight. If you’re looking to shed pounds, adding an exercise routine will help in addition to eating well-balanced meals at home that feature plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats. It’s also smart to make sure you’re getting enough sleep—seven hours a night is recommended—as there’s strong evidence that adequate sleep plays a role in metabolism and weight management.
Use Inexpensive Equipment
The good news is that you don’t need a lot of fancy equipment to get a workout. In fact, just two 20-minute sessions a week can help you lose weight and give you tons of health benefits. The key is to focus on using your own body weight as resistance and doing exercises that use large muscle groups (like walking lunges or squats). If possible, find some space outdoors—even just a small patch on your apartment building’s lawn will do. Get moving every day!
It’s true that eating healthy foods is an important part of losing weight, but it’s not enough. That’s because sometimes you need to exercise in order to lose weight—and keep it off. When you exercise, your body uses more energy than usual, even if you don’t notice it happening. This extra energy is often in the form of calories, which help your body function. When you use more calories than you consume through food and beverages, you end up creating a calorie deficit (this is what dieting aims for). As time goes on, these small deficits add up until eventually, you see results like a smaller waistline or smaller hips or thighs.
Both yoga and exercise are great for improving flexibility, which will help you avoid injury during workouts. A flexible body has a better range of motion, meaning less risk for pulling a muscle or injuring your joints. Also, once you start running more frequently, it’s important to stretch properly because that helps prevent injuries such as the runner’s knee (iliotibial band syndrome). When combined with proper nutrition and weight training, regular yoga practice can help improve your metabolism in ways that will help you reach your fitness goals. So don’t think of these as two separate entities; instead, think about them as one holistic approach to improving overall health.
While a healthy weight loss plan should always include both yoga and exercise, not everyone has time to do both on a regular basis. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have some of each in your daily routine. For example, if you work in an office setting, try doing just five minutes of yoga stretches every morning or evening before lunch or dinner. Or if you run after work most days, you could fit in a short yoga session on your lunch break to stretch out any tight muscles. You don’t need to spend hours at it—even 10-minute workouts will do wonders for your health.
Workouts don’t have to be hard, time-consuming, or expensive. There are tons of ways to work out anywhere. If you don’t have time for a yoga class or don’t want to pay for a gym membership, there are plenty of exercises you can do in your own home. To lose weight safely but quickly, try one or more types of exercise every day. The more workouts you do each week, the more calories you will burn overall (even while sleeping!). Also, keep in mind that no one is an expert at working out—so don’t feel pressure to do anything crazy!
In addition to exercise, you should also consume a healthy diet. You don’t need to eat perfectly to lose weight—but your diet should have minimally processed foods, low amounts of added sugar, a few saturated fats, and lots of fruits and vegetables. Do your best to avoid soda and sugary drinks, as well as most trans fats (hydrogenated oils) found in packaged snacks and fast food. Also keep an eye on what you eat before bed; while it might help you fall asleep faster, eating too much before bed can add calories that prevent your body from going into its fat-burning sleep cycle. Also read Why Fitness is important for your healthy life
If you’re looking to lose weight or simply maintain your current body mass, nutrition is key. But even if you don’t need to lose weight, making conscious changes to what you eat can help make your overall health better. That said, there’s a ton of research that supports how mindfulness—also known as being in the moment—can reduce stress, improve memory and reaction time, promote attention span (which will come in handy when meditating), improve sleep quality, and other health benefits. Obviously, these are all things that make mindful eating easier.
Incorporate small changes into your lifestyle, such as drinking more water, choosing whole grains over refined flours, or opting for a healthier option on a restaurant menu. The key is to find healthy habits that you can stick with long-term since they’ll make it easier to develop positive food behaviors that become second nature. To get started with mindful eating, try using all your senses when you eat: pay attention to how each bite tastes and feels in your mouth. Likewise, taking time to smell your food will encourage greater awareness. When we eat quickly or on autopilot—while watching TV or surfing social media—we’re less likely to chew our food thoroughly or give our stomachs time to register that we’re full.
Both yoga and exercise are great for your overall health. They both help lower stress levels, burn calories, strengthen muscles, improve moods, boost immune systems, aid in digestion, make you happier overall. However, there is one major difference between them: yoga focuses on stretching while exercise focuses on strengthening.
So you need to decide which one to add to your weight loss routine based on how much time you have in a day. If you only have 20 minutes a day, yoga is a better option since it will stretch out your muscles, improve circulation and breathing. On the other hand, if you’re up for 30 minutes or more each day, exercise might be more beneficial because it strengthens muscles rather than just stretches them. Either way though, try to stay active! It’s good for both body and mind.
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