If Yoga Is The Only Way You Work Out, You're Pretty Much 'Inactive'
If you've been dodging your Vinyasa yoga classes harder than you try to avoid your ex, I have some good news for you.
It turns out that hitting the mat may not count as the heart-pumping exercise you thought it was after all.
That's right. A new review in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise recently found that yoga doesn't actually count as the "moderate intensity" exercise that's recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.
For the study, researchers examined 27 previous studies on yoga and found that most of the energy expended during these classes counted as "light intensity" exercise.
To put this into perspective for you, activities such as standing, walking, and lifting light objects are also classified as "light intensity," and the CDC considers people who only do these "light intensity" activities as inactive individuals.
Now before you toss out your mat and throw on a pair of running shoes, it's important to note that there are still some health benefits associated with practicing your poses on the reg.
Apparently, the researchers only looked at classes that were practicing hatha yoga, which tends to be less intense than other types of yoga that involve faster moving sequences (like vinyasa yoga.)
The same can also be said for hot yoga classes like Bikram and all of those hybrid yoga classes that mix light weight training with small bursts of cardio.
Exercise intensity aside, there are some mental health benefits of incorporating hatha yoga into your fitness routine.
While you may not touch as many calories as hitting the treadmill, this particular type of yoga can reduce stress, ease depression, increase balance, build strength and give you a wider range of motion.
So long story short, if you rely on yoga as your main form of exercise, it might not be a bad idea to add a little extra cardio into your fitness routine.
But if you're already crushing miles of pavement and conquering spin class on the reg, you don't have to feel bad about skipping out on that Sunday morning yoga class.