Can YOGA really be classed as cardio exercise?
Traditionally this has always been up for debate, but according to a new study the answer is categorically ‘Yes’, as long as you do it fast enough, it is possible for you to burn serious calories equivalent to a light aerobics’ workout.
The study, published in the Complementary Therapies in Medicine, showed that by reducing the time you hold each pose from 12 seconds to 3 seconds you substantially increase the calories you burn. But only if you know what you are doing and can hold the poses properly. Those new to yoga should make sure they are well versed in the correct form of the poses before speeding things up.
Fast flowing yoga, like Ashtanga, Vinyasa or Power Yoga, can provide a cardio workout with some strategic sequencing of poses because switching between poses takes more effort from your entire body than just holding the poses and, if it’s done quickly and for long enough, you can get your heart rate up. So the good news is that a regular, vigorous practice is likely to contribute to your cardiovascular fitness.
There is even evidence that a regular yoga practice of 1 hour a day can make your heart as fit, or even fitter, than someone who does regular aerobic physical activity.
Even without this cardio plus, yoga has so many other fitness and health benefits, because it activates muscles not commonly used in a traditional aerobic workout. This helps prevent imbalances that can often result in injury. Staying flexible and limber helps with all other sports and daily activities too.
So, it seems at last that, fast flowing yoga is a great way to get all the strength, flexibility, mental and emotional benefits of yoga plus a mini cardio workout at the same time. What a result!
Join us at The View studio for one of our many yoga classes.