When it comes to losing weight, the few things that first come to mind would be exercise and dieting. Both are true, but there is one aspect that people often overlook and this is rest. Fortunately, there is a way to get relaxed and get those calories burning at the same time. Yoga is an ancient art of relaxation that has been around for hundreds of years and its benefits show exactly why. Here’s how yoga can help supplement your weight loss goals.
It Helps Calm Your Mind
The busier you are, the more you are likely to gain weight because you don’t pay attention to how and when you eat. If all you think about is work, study, family duties and other responsibilities, the higher the chance that you will weigh ten pounds more before realizing it. To manage this, take a breather and make the effort to slow down.
A vital element of yoga is focusing on the present. Studies show that the regular practice of yoga improves memory, reaction time, motor abilities and even overall intelligence. People who practice meditation gain an increased ability to solve problems over time and they acquire and store information better.
It Increases Blood Flow
One key benefit of yoga is being able to challenge yourself while staying as calm and in-the-zone as possible. The struggle to complete a pose enables you to control muscles and this will help keep your blood flowing, especially to your hands and feet. This results in more oxygen getting to your cells. As a result, the body function better in the long run.
Twisting poses are said to weed out toxic blood from deep within and allow oxygenated blood to flow more freely. Inverted poses, on the other hand, encourage toxic blood to flow out from the legs and back to the heart where it can be pumped with oxygen again. Research has shown that this boosts hemoglobin levels and carries oxygen to the tissues quicker. Making the blood less sticky supports your weight loss goals. In addition, it leads to a decrease in the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Yoga Strengthens Bones
A 2009 study highlighted on the Huffington Post shows that practicing yoga regularly can lead to increased bone density among adults. The researchers conducted a bone mineral density scan on a group of subjects. Half of them were asked to practice yoga for two years until another scan was made. The results showed that not only did the subjects who did yoga have a lower likelihood of bone loss, they actually gained bone density compared to those who didn’t do yoga.
Bone mass is vital for overall health. Bones, along with muscles, are the foundation of almost every physical activity. Having strong bones will enable you to maximize your body’s capacity to lose weight more efficiently.
Yoga Makes You Feel Happier
Performing even just a few yoga poses can already alleviate your bad mood. While it does not work that instantly, studies show that consistent yoga practice is effective against fighting off depression. Yoga can lead to a significant increase in serotonin levels and a decrease in the levels of monoamine oxidase and cortisol.
It is not uncommon to see a depressed person also gaining weight. Rewiring a depressed mind could be the first step to managing your fitness goals — and yoga can help with that.
Yoga Has Proven Weight Loss Properties
Researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle found a connection between regular yoga practice and decreased weight. The group conducted a study on more than 15,000 healthy and middle-aged adults and observed them over a span of time. The results show that the decrease in weight was faster in those yoga-embracing subjects who were overweight, while those who did not practice yoga at all even gained an average of 14 pounds.
Indeed, yoga is more than just keep your mind and heart at ease. The next time you plan your fitness regimen, you might want to consider introducing yoga into the picture. In addition to its numerous physical and mental health benefits, this is definitely a fitness trend that you should not just brush off.