Yoga for Fitness and Weight Loss

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Posted by Karen and Kev Green (Mind & Body Consultants) on 24 Apr 2015

Yoga can be a cardiovascular workout to help you get fit, and it can even help you lose weight, just by relaxing! Yoga will challenge you, but leave you feeling invigorated and calm, not exhausted.

Most of you will be familiar with yoga for improving flexibility and as a way to help you relax and cope with your life “stuff”. This is a very accurate assumption, but what most people don’t realise is that it is a great way to improve your cardiovascular fitness and strength. I know we associate this mainly with sports like running, squash, aerobics etc – those exercises that make you breathless and sweaty.

Well, the good news is you don’t have to be completely out of breath to improve your cardiovascular fitness and strength. Did you know that slow repetitive movements, and even holding static yoga postures, can improve the efficiency of your cardiovascular system, resulting in improved fitness, strength and endurance? Regular yoga practice designed for fitness and strength, along with a healthy eating plan, can significantly help to lose weight.

It is also little known that relaxation can also help weight loss! When we are stressed, our adrenal glands are overworked and we also produce more cortisol, which may promote weight gain and can also affect where you put the weight on. Some studies have shown elevated cortisol levels cause more fat deposits around the abdomen (which is strongly correlated with development of cardiovascular diseases). By practising relaxation techniques, this will allow hormone levels to stabilise, thus making it easier to lose weight, just by letting go and doing nothing! How great is that!

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