Yoga Vs Running – Which Is Better For Weight Loss?

By Dixit Arora +2 more

We are seeing a steady rise in obesity rates due to the unwise lifestyle choices of the 21st century. Unhealthy eating, sedentary life and not exercising enough have led to a significant chunk of the population becoming overweight. Thankfully, many of them have realized the dangers associated with those unwanted kilos and have made up their minds to lose some weight. 

Once that decision has been taken, another question pops up. How should you go about it? Everyone knows that the two best ways you can lose weight without any equipment are running and yoga. But how do you pick between the two?

Yoga Vs Running - Which Is Better For Weight Loss? - PharmEasy

Let’s Settle The Debate Of Yoga Vs Running And Find Out Which Is Better.

How Does Weight Loss Happen?

Weight loss boils down to using up more calories than you consume. Calories are your body’s fuel, it burns them to release the energy needed to carry out all the different functions of the body. But, when you take in more calories than your body needs, they get converted to fats that deposit all over your body. In such cases, you will have to create a calorie deficit by reducing the quantity of food you eat. It’s only then the body will use up the fats to power itself and you will start losing weight. 

Aerobic excercises are better in weight loss and yoga is not a aerobic exercise in true sense. I personally recommend running for weight loss.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD

How Does Running Help?

Running burns more calories every minute than any other cardio activity, anything between 10-17 calories/minute depending on your weight. 

Running speeds up your metabolism, which regulates your energy consumption. The faster your metabolic rate, the more quickly you will lose weight. Moreover, running reduces your appetite so that you won’t be tempted to snack in between your meals. Some forms of running, such as high intensity running or uphill running continue to burn calories at a fast pace long after you have completed your run.

Also Read About: 4 Health Benefits of Running Daily 

How Does Yoga Help?

Yoga burns fewer calories per minute than running. It is a slow but steady path to weight loss. What works in yoga’s favour is that its effect lasts much longer than a morning run. Like, running, yoga too improves your metabolic rate, which means your body will continue to burn calories faster throughout the day. But in the case of running, this effect does not last the whole day.

If you want yoga to burn calories faster (though it can never match running when it comes to calories burnt/minute), you will have to opt for the more active versions of yoga such as Bikram, Ashtanga, Iyengar and Power yoga. With yoga, you also get the added benefit of adding muscle mass to your body, which is not the case with running.

Apart from diet modifications, steady aerobic exercise like brisk walking for at least 30 minutes a day are helpful in the long run, to induce gradual weight loss and maintain a healthy body.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj, M.B.B.S., M.D.

Yoga For Runners

While it may seem like running for weight loss is the overall winner here, you don’t need to choose between the two. Yoga can be beneficial for runners in many ways. Yoga helps to tone your muscles and develop core strength, especially if you choose to perform the more intense poses. Yoga poses like sun salutations also help to improve flexibility through repetitive forward and backward bending.

As a runner, this can help you improve your overall strength and flexibility but also works for those days you are unable to run. If you get injured or do not have time to maintain your daily running routine, you can use yoga as a supplementary exercise to help you stay fit. This is not going to be a substitute, after all, running is a more demanding workout. But it can keep your body in shape till you’re able to get back to running.

Lastly, you can use yoga as a complementary exercise to your regular routine. It can help you relax, cool off and improve circulation to your leg muscles, making it a great tool to go along with running or other cardio exercises. Running and Yoga for weight loss both work, but doing them both will be even better.  

Also Read About: 5 Health Benefits of Yoga

Yoga Vs Running For Weight Loss – The Verdict

Running will help you reach your weight goal faster. But, yoga can help you lose weight too, albeit at a slower pace. So if you want to lose fat as soon as possible, running is more suitable. If time is not of the essence and you want to add muscle mass as well, yoga is a better option. 

Must Read About: 8 Exercises That Help with Weight Loss


Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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