When thinking about exercise for weight loss, we usually think about aerobic exercise and burning calories through sweat and effort. Let’s say you weigh 150 pounds. If you did yoga for an hour, you would burn approximately 150 calories. On the other hand, if you walked for an hour on a treadmill at 3 miles an hour, you would burn twice that amount. So why would you even consider replacing cardio with yoga?
The American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine recently published a review of scientific studies that considered the relationship between yoga and weight loss as well as the relationship between yoga and weight loss maintenance.
There are four primary ways in which yoga may prove to be a helpful practice for weight- conscious individuals. First, there are a certain amount of calories burned during yoga practice. Granted, not as many as running a 4-minute mile, but more than sitting on the couch watching reruns of How I Met Your Mother.
Also, because yoga is known to reduce joint and back pain, its use can serve as a pathway, allowing practitioners to also engage in other, more aerobic forms of exercise, with less pain. Instead of downing Motrin 800 before riding a bicycle for example, yoga provides a safe means to make it possible to participate in other forms of exercise or team sports.
The third and fourth ways in which yoga can be a helpful tool for weight-conscious individuals are related to the mind-body connection that yoga practice promotes. Excess weight is often associated with emotional eating. As a counter to that, the mindfulness aspect of yoga practice can elevate your mood, reduce your stress and make you less likely to down a bag of chips in order to self-soothe.
Finally, yoga practitioners are generally much more connected to, and more aware of, the signals their bodies send. Developing such awareness through consistent yoga practice can help you connect more naturally to the feeling of fullness at mealtimes as well as to the unpleasant sensation of being overly full. This, in turn, can help you naturally regulate the amount of food you’re consuming.
Basic yoga is a great companion tool both before and after your treatment with the Spatz3 gastric balloon.
Author: Rebeca Espinoza