Exercise is a valuable part of any healthy lifestyle. Whether you go to the gym, take spinning classes, or practice yoga at home, it’s vital that you incorporate some activity into your daily routine for long-term health.
There are as many proponents of yoga as there are for exercise and weightlifting. If you’re someone who is trying to understand the differences between fitness and yoga, you’ve come to the right place. Join us as we look at three significant differences between these two types of exercise.
3 Major Differences Between Yoga and Fitness
Yoga is a powerful tool for keeping your body and your mind in shape. Similarly, traditional fitness can also help you shed weight and build muscles in different ways. There has long been a link between exercise and happiness. In fact, several scientific studies have looked into the biological mechanisms linking the two.
An intense workout triggers an endorphin boost in your body, also known as a “runner’s high.” It’s a quick mood boost, but it’s ultimately brief. Yoga, on the other hand, can offer a lasting impact that results in a better mood overall. That’s just the beginning.
Here are three ways yoga and fitness differ from one another:
1. Different Outcomes
Exercise leads to higher endurance, more muscle mass, and a temporary surge of endorphins. Traditional fitness is divided into multiple categories depending on the focus of the individual. Cardio, for example, improves endurance and stamina.
Weightlifters are focused on building muscle and bulking up through the use of weights and repetitive motions. Yoga, on the other hand, is more about achieving a relaxed state of mind and body.
Studies have shown that yoga can even help with depression. Most likely due to the deep breathing techniques that are used. People who practice yoga find that they are more empowered to handle stress during their daily lives.
People who practice yoga consistently also enjoy increased flexibility, better respiration, and higher performance overall in sports and cardio. If anything, yoga can improve your performance in other forms of exercise and prevent injury from overstimulation.
2. Physical Changes
Traditional fitness focuses on repetitive motion, muscle building, and overall stamina. When you’re exercising, you are typically working on a specific set of muscles, thereby increasing the strength of that particular part of your body.
Fitness increases blood flow and circulation, while also raising the oxygen levels in your body. By contrast, here are some of the ways your body benefits from yoga:
● Improved flexibility
● Increased muscle tone and strength
● Higher energy levels
● Balanced metabolism
● Weight loss
● Circulatory health
When you’re practising yoga, you consume less oxygen than when you’re breathing heavy during exercise. Your blood pressure falls, and your body is put under less stress. Your body temperature drops and your metabolic rate decreases.
People who practice yoga, put less pressure on their joints and less stress on their minds. Let’s find out the differences between yoga and fitness on your mental health.
3. Mental Health
We’ve known for a long time that exercise benefits your mental health. Studies have found that people who exercise can counteract depression with similar effectiveness to medication that they would take for the same problem.
Fitness can reduce your stress levels and help people who deal with anxiety as well. It relieves tension in your muscles and boosts your energy while also releasing endorphins. It’s also a great way to release stress from your body both mentally and physically.
If we turn our attention to yoga, we see that it also helps people manage their stress levels. Stress can cause rampant issues in your body and your mind. Not only will yoga help you release the tension in your body, but it will also improve your mind gain coping skills that you can use in your everyday life.
Yoga is a combination of meditation, breathing, and physical movement. This combination is a powerful way to teach your mind to relax both inside and outside of your exercise. When it comes down to it, both yoga and fitness provide mental health benefits.
Yoga’s benefits tend to be more long-lasting, which is why it’s important to diversify your activity.
Yoga comes in a lot of different varieties, and the same can be said for exercise. Both of them offer health benefits that span across your physical and mental well-being. Yoga tends to provide longer lasting effects and benefits because of its combination of breathing exercises and meditation.
Yoga allows you to align your body and your mind in a way that has enormous benefits for the long-term. Anyone who practices fitness should also try yoga to supplement and enhance their well-being.
Kosta Miachin is the creator of VIKASA Yoga method – a unique, challenging and effective approach to yoga.
He is also the founder of VIKASA Yoga Academy.