Of all the exercises that burn calories, yoga is not top dog. Running, swimming, cycling, and even weightlifting can shed pounds faster. But if you’re interested in yoga for its other benefits, there are a few tricks and habits to help maximize your workout. You can still achieve the flexibility and relaxation yoga offers, and also some of the weight-loss benefits of more strenuous exercises.
Below are four ways to turn your yoga workout into an aggressive fat-fighter. These “habits” can increase the efficiency of your routine and burn more calories, but also lead to greater strength and endurance.
Burning more calories requires raising your heart rate for a period of 30-60 minutes. The recommended heart rate of 70-75% of your max (220 minus your age) [Sweating The Details-The Basics Of Working Out] may not be possible with yoga, but every extra heartbeat is beneficial to your overall health. Anything you do to increase the intensity of your workout will increase your heart rate and the calories burned.
Work the core:
Any core workout will raise your heart rate because your abdominal muscles work to stabilize, balance, and hold up the rest of your body. When your core is active, so is the rest of your body. Plank Pose is an example of a yoga pose that targets your abs. Stay in Plank Pose for thirty seconds and take your pulse. Notice a difference? As your abs, arms, and legs work together to stay in position, your heart races to keep oxygen flowing to hungry cells. Static core exercises (isometrics), where your body doesn’t move as it would running or swimming, are a great balance of low impact and high intensity. Remember to inhale deeply to receive oxygen into your lungs and heart, and exhale waste. [Demand More of Your Core]
Get off the ground:
The body naturally burns more calories standing than it does laying down or sitting. Get off the ground and do standing yoga poses. Warrior 1 and 2, chair pose, revolved side-angle stretch, or any other pose that forces you to bend your knees and tighten your leg muscles will cause more of your body to work to hold the position. You’ll raise your heart rate because oxygen is needed in more cells. As you balance and struggle against gravity your muscles will demand more energy.
Growing [How Many Calories Does Yoga Burn?] during yoga increases the calories burned because of one simple rule. No matter what you do, whether it’s moving your hands, or taking one extra step before sitting down, or nodding your head, any movement burns calories, and any extra movement burns more calories. Growing involves lengthening the spine and elongating your body, as if you were a giraffe stretching for a high leaf or a snake stretching from one branch to another. This upward movement increases the workload and the calories burned. Growing also helps relieve pressure in our spine and ligaments, and relaxes us more deeply as we search out the pressure points in our skeletal structure. You may not work as hard as you will in standing or core poses, but even small advantages lead to great benefits. By adding this simple technique to your core and standing postures you can create a more efficient routine.
A core or standing pose alone will increase heart rate and calorie expenditure, but it’s the bridge between two poses that garner the best results. The more you transition from one pose to another the more calories your muscles will demand, and the faster your heart will beat to meet the muscles’ needs.
Every time you move from one yoga pose to another you create movement. The more movement, the more you’ll work to keep pace. If usually you change from one pose to another every thirty seconds, reduce the time you’re static by half. Spend ten to fifteen seconds in one pose, then move into the next until it seems that you’re doing a dance just faster than slow motion.
Power Yoga is an example of a yoga workout that takes movement to the next level. Power Yoga’s quick succession of movement is like a Lamborghini compared to a bicycle when matched against Hatha Yoga’s slow meditation. [Benefits for Athletes]
Changing from one standing pose to another standing pose, focusing on your core, and growing with each pose, you can expect to get the most out of your workout. Plan to spend thirty minutes to an hour daily or every other day to maximize your benefits. Good luck.
1.Sweating The Details-The Basics Of Working Out, Buildingbodies.ca
2.Monica Schmidt, B.S., Competitor Magazine, Demand More of Your Core, Active.com
3.How Many Calories Does Yoga Burn?, Elysiumyoga.com
4.Benefits for Athletes, Progressivepoweryoga.com