One a Sunday afternoon I was reading a story and came across the story of Shreya
I am 16 years old and weigh 105 kg. I want to lose weight as my batchmates make fun of me for being overweight. Some people would call me as ‘Pig’ while others would compare me with an elephant. It makes me feel very humiliated. I have decided to lose weight. I am confused between “Yoga or Gym Which is better for weight loss?’
This made me realize that there must be so many people in the world who wanted lose weight but are in a dilemma and want to know which is better-Yoga or Gym?
Obesity is the root cause of a lot of health issues. To avoid health issues, it’s important to lose weight. You can go ahead and take the action the moment you are able to decide between ‘Yoga or Gym Which is better for weight loss?’ I want help you take that decision and enable you to understand what might work best for you. I decided to write my views on this so here I am with my take on yoga vs gym for weight loss.
Before I rest my case on which is better for weight loss- Yoga or Gym?, I would want to bring a clear understanding on what is overweight and why one should lose weight.
What is overweight?
A person is considered as overweight or obese if his or her body weight is greater than the weight that is considered as healthy for a given height. Body Mass Index (BMI) is a tool that helps to determine whether a person is overweight or not.
Why lose weight?
- Obese people are 6% more likely to suffer from pain in atleast one knee than people who are slim. Losing weight can help reduce the risk of joint pain by improving movement.
- Losing weight can help you have a good quality sleep. It helps reduce sleep apnea (Sleep apnea is more than normal snoring. It blocks the breathing passage).Getting good quality sleep helps to regulate metabolism and helps you stay energetic.
- When you begin to lose weight, you begin to will crave for food with less sugar and low fat. This will help you avoid unhealthy food.
- Losing body fat helps boost our immunity and makes it more responsive.
- Having a healthy range of body fat helps in recovery from a variety of diseases. It can help recover from surgery and childbirth.
To resolve your confusion, it’s important to understand what is yoga and gym. I know it’s obvious but let’s start with basic definition what yoga and gym mean.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is a spiritual and physical discipline that saw it’s practice from ancient India. It includes the use of breathing techniques, exercises (also known as sukshma vyayam) and meditation. It supports us to improve our health and happiness. It was started by Patanjali, who defined Yoga as ‘the cessation of the modification of the mind’.
What is a Gym?
Collins Dictionary defines Gym as ‘ a club, building, or large room, usually containing special equipment, where people go to do physical exercise and get fit.’
Gyms contain equipment that is suitable for different fitness goals. For weight loss, gyms have equipment for cardiovascular exercises. Gyms can be used by men and women for strength and muscle building.
Well, you have read enough definitions now. The burning question remains the same- For weight loss, which is more effective- Yoga or Gym? Let’s learn what benefits each of them offers and help you understand what might work for you.
Yoga or Gym Which is better for weight loss?
Let’s understand the benefits of yoga and gym with respect to how each of them can help you in losing weight.
Benefits of Yoga for weight loss
If you want to reduce weight then Yoga offers a lot of benefits. Here are a few of them:
- It helps to reduce stress: As a working professional or a homemaker, there is a lot of stress that we deal with in our daily lives. Increased stress levels makes us hungry for sugary, salty and foods. Excessive consumption of such foods due to high stress levels can increase your weight. Therefore stress reduction by yoga helps in avoiding additional weight gain.
- Yoga has a holistic approach towards the welfare of your body: It contributes to reduction in weight loss by working on the cause of your overweight. For example: There are many people who are overweight because they have health ailments such as Thyroid. Doing yoga helps to cure thyroid related problems. If obesity is caused by a health problem then, Yoga works on addressing the root cause of obesity.
- Yoga helps to build flexibility in your body: A flexible body and an active mind can do other exercises which are hard to perform but they help reduce weight.
- Power Yoga (which is a part of ashtanga yoga) is a rigorous workout that helps burn calories which helps in weight loss, improves metabolism and helps in strength building.
Benefits of Gym for weight loss
Gyms help us to reduce weight and have a lot of advantages. Here are a few of them:
- Gyms are well equipped with machines for cardiovascular workout. Cardio workout helps boost the heart rate and that helps to burn calories effectively.
- Weight training activities at the Gym helps build muscle and burn calories.
- Gyms also have a personal trainer who can guide and mentor you based on your fitness goals.
- Gyms are best suited to work for you and achieve results faster the moment you identify a fitness goal, inform your instructor about it and work on it.
‘Yoga or Gym Which is better for weight loss?’ is a question that cannot be answered without comparing both of them
|It operates on overall improvement of your body.||It increases tension in your body muscles and bulks them up. As a beginner, you might experience cramps in your muscles for a few days. With time, camps disappear.|
|It relaxes your mind and reduces stress.||It does not work on mind relaxation.|
|There is less risk of injury.||There is a very moderate risk of injury. However, if one is careful then there is no injury.|
|You can lose weight by doing Yoga in the long term but not in the short term. Doing Yoga for weight loss will bring results slowly.||Gym helps achieve fast results. You can lose weight by working out at Gym much faster than Yoga.|
|It helps cure health issues that cause obesity .It is not suitable to attain a particular body shape or muscle.||Gym is more centered on fitness goals. It helps improve flexibility. It is suitable for a suitable body shape. it is not meant to cure health issues.|
|It unifies your mind, body and spirit.||It only works physical health of body such as body shape, size and muscle.|
|Yoga is not suitable for muscle training and building biceps and abs.||It helps in strength training and body building.|
To find the answer to ‘Yoga or Gym Which is better for weight loss?’ is a difficult task. The answer is subjective in nature because I do not know what you fitness goal is. So I am sharing my views based on the different fitness goals that I am aware of.
In ideal situation, you should practice yoga and go to the gym in order to achieve best results for your health. However, if you need to chose one amongst the two then I am sharing my take on which is better for weight loss in what situation:
- If your goal is to achieve peace of mind, tranquility & stress reduction then doing yoga is better for you than going to the gym.
- If you have a few health problems which cause your obesity then doing yoga is better for you than going to the gym.
- If you are looking for fast results and need to lose weight within 3-4 months then going to the gym is better for you than doing yoga. However, if you can be patient to achieve results in the long term (atleast 6-12 months)
- If you are looking for strength training, muscle and body building then going to the gym is better than doing yoga.
- If you want to save your money then doing yoga is better than going to the gym.
To read more on importance of physical fitness you can Read my article here
Want to start workout at home? Read my article here
Want to eat healthy and improve your lifestyle? Read my article here