Yoga For Weight Loss? Two Supplemental Activities That Can Increase Weight Loss And Even Improve Your Yoga Sessions

by Amy Garrett

Yoga is a fantastic way to lose weight. By itself, however, yoga is not the most effective way to achieve your weight loss goals. You can definitely keep yoga as your primary weight loss activity, but consider supplementing it with cardiovascular and strength training sessions. Doing so can significantly expedite your weight loss goals, and you might even notice a marked improvement in your yoga performance, as well.

Introduce Cardiovascular Activities

To lose weight, you need to burn more calories that you consume. Regular exercise is an easy way to increase that caloric deficit, but not all athletic activities produce the same results.

Depending on your weight, you can burn anywhere from 120 to 178 calories in a 30-minute yoga session. Like all physical activities, yoga can lead to weight loss, but it is not as effective as other activities. For example, running and bicycling are two activities that can burn at least twice as many calories as a yoga session.

Do not ditch your yoga sessions for this reason, however. You can increase your weight loss by adding a few other cardiovascular activities to your workout regimen. Doing so will boost the number of calories that you burn each day and, as a result, help you achieve your weight loss goals much faster. You need not add a half hour of running or bicycling, however. Simply add a vigorous five- or ten-minute jump-roping session before and after your yoga session, and you'll torch those calories. 

Strength Training

It might sound counter-intuitive, but strength training can actually help you lose weight. Some research even suggests that, for weight loss, strength training is more effective than cardiovascular activities. Even though a session of iron pumping typically burns fewer calories than a session of cardiovascular activity, strength training revs up your metabolism and keeps your body torching calories long after you put up the weights. Yoga definitely tones your body, but you are unlikely to see the same lean muscle building as you would with traditional strength training. 

Furthermore, if you do too much yoga, your increased flexibility can actually hurt your body, especially your hips. Three common injuries are snapping hip syndrome, bursitis, and femoroacetabular impingement. By introducing strength training into your fitness routine, you can reduce your risk of developing one of these painful conditions. In the long run, this means that one of those injuries will be less likely to sideline you from your workouts and delay your weight loss goals. 

Introduce some light weights into your regimen, and focus on the muscle groups that support and surround the joints that you are extending in yoga. Doing so will not only increase your lean muscle mass, which will burn more calories, but also allow your body to support the increased flexibility achieved through your yoga sessions. For further assistance, contact local professionals, such as Olson's Martial Arts Academy.