Whether you have tried the new health craze or not, you’ve probably heard by now about the ever growing popularity of yoga and the practices’ impact on our modern culture and daily routines. Did you know that since 2012 the number of people participating in yoga has increased from 20 million to over 55 million!? What’s the hype really all about? There are plenty of other trends that come and go but Yoga is definitely close to being accepted, universally, as a legitimate form of exercise. Well for one thing, people love it.
There is no doubt that yoga’s approach to health and wellness provides unique characteristics to exercise that aren’t easily found in other run of the mill physical activities. The addition of the meditative aspect in the practice of yoga makes it an ideal way to stay limber, burn calories, and reduce stress for a physically and mentally healthier lifestyle.
How Stress Affects Weight Loss
Meditation and mindfulness seem to be catching fire similarly to the trends seen with yoga. This shouldn’t be a surprise in the midst of a technological revolution where the masses seem to be more connected to their personal devices than connecting with individuals in their lives. High levels of stress and anxiety have been linked directly to the rise of social media and people’s screen time.
People's fast paced lifestyles have them feeling like they’re moving a million miles an hour and can’t afford to slow down for a break. This way of thinking and living may not be sustainable for everyone and could end up leaving many feeling physically and emotionally drained, overly stressed, and eventually, down in the dumps. Don’t lose hope, however, because grasping these concepts is the first step to conquering stress in general.
We know that this subject isn’t always a fun one to talk about, unfortunately, but understanding how stress affects people is important if we are going to move forward in life with healthier choices. Higher levels of stress have been tied directly to weight gain or making weight loss more difficult. This is due to a few different factors.
- Higher levels of cortisol - When the body is stressed, the adrenal glands release cortisol and adrenaline. These, along with glucose are meant to give the body a burst of energy to get out of a stressful situation, but today’s stress isn’t what it used to be. Turns out this excess glucose causes weight gain more often than saving you from a threatening situation.
- Stress eating - We’ve all been there. Excess stress heightens the sense of cravings for unhealthy foods. Nerves also increase the likelihood of going for a second or third helping. This is in large part due to the higher levels of cortisol being released into the body.
- Unhealthy, accessibility eating - Stress and anxiety can leave people feeling like there just isn’t enough time in the day to get things done. When this is the mindset that sinks in, it’s extremely difficult to convince the mind and body that meal planning and eating healthy is a priority. This thought process can easily lead to fast food and junk food being integrated into routines which is detrimental to weight loss.
- Less sleep - Let’s face it, when stress is prevalent, sleep deprivation is common. Thinking about all the stresses in life is hard to avoid and when you can’t get those thoughts out of your head, relaxing enough to fall asleep is more than difficult. The loss of sleep has been linked to a slower metabolism which makes it harder to lose weight. Sleep deprivation also reduces energy levels and lack of willpower.
Low Stress High Reward Activities
Activities like yoga and meditation may not seem like the ideal solutions for cutting stubborn belly fat from the midsection at first glance. Burning a huge number of calories with strenuous activity, however, isn’t the whole point. If weight loss is your ultimate goal, it’s important to understand that burning more calories than caloric intake isn’t the only factor in achieving your weight loss goals in an optimal amount of time. The mindset of the weight loss community is now beginning to see and accept the undeniable benefits that yoga and meditation have on both the mind and body.
Yoga Stress Relief And Other Benefits Of Daily Meditation
The physical demands of yoga are no laughing matter. If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet or are just starting out, you probably understand how difficult many of the poses can be. Yoga is fantastic for stretching and strengthening sure, but it can also be so much more than a physical exercise.
Which Forms Of Yoga Are Best For Weight Loss
Some forms of yoga allow for more of a traditional workout than others. Here are the best types of yoga to burn calories at the same time as releasing tension from the body and mind.
This style of yoga is relatively vigorous and many who practice it are the most dedicated. Ashtanga, meaning “eight limbs”, follows the same series of poses each time. That means once you have the sequence down it’s easy to practice anytime on your own. This makes it easier to work it into a routine since you can do it anywhere.
2. Power Yoga
This style of yoga is more popular at gyms, health clubs and studios. This very vigorous, fitness-based style is similar to Ashtanga as it focuses on athleticism but can vary from class to class as it doesn’t have to follow the same series every time. Strength and flexibility are the main areas of focus which makes it the perfect type of yoga to practice if you’re an avid gym goer.
3. Bikram or Hot Yoga
Bikram is a popular style of hot yoga but there are other styles to choose from as well. They are all done in a heated room, commonly around 95-105 degrees F, and tend to be practiced in a series of linked poses. This vigorous yoga session makes the body sweat profusely to cleanse the body and allow muscles to loosen.
Those forms classified as gentle yoga forms including Hatha, Integral, and Kripalu may not burn the same calories as the Vinyasa Yoga forms but can still be extremely beneficial to keeping those stress levels low. If you’re a beginner or are curious about how yoga can benefit you, it may be worth your time to start out with one of these less intensive types of yoga.
Skinny Up!® Products Can Bolster Progress & Take More Stress Off Your Physical Regimen
The Skinny Up!® team has been on board with low stress weight loss since its inception. We push for low intensity workouts during the Reduce Phase of the Skinny Up!® protocol due to many of the reasons stated above. Our team of doctors who formulated the Skinny Up!® product line were well versed in the idea and practice of trying to reduce corosol’s introduction into the body while going through a rapid weight loss regiment.
We also recognize the similar benefits that both yoga and the Skinny Up!® product line can provide for users. A focused mind, that is free of brain fog and promotes mental clarity, is an intrical part to both yoga and our products. Increases to natural feeling energy is also something that both yoga and the Skinny Up!® product line promotes!
Other Activities That Can Aid In Keeping A Clear Mind And Healthy Body
1. Daily Walks Are Good For Body And Soul
This may seem super simple but it’s definitely still a form of aerobic exercise. That means when you’re taking a daily walk, your heart rate increases and endorphins are released to the brain. This natural chemical helps manage stress levels. Even a 10 minute daily walk can help restore calm, but 45 minutes or longer is recommended to reduce stress and anxiety.
2. Swimming Is Low Impact And High Reward
This full body workout is a great way to mix things up, especially if high impact exercises aren’t really an option. Just being in water can have a calming effect, but the resistance element and anaerobic aspects also get the blood pumping, making it ideal for getting a more complete workout.
3. Cycling Inside Or Out Is As Intense As You Prefer
Another workout that is easy on the joints and can be adjusted to different levels of intensity. Another great aspect of this activity is the fact that you can listen to music while riding outside or even put on a show or educational video if you'd rather stick to the bike at the gym.
4. Dancing Can Happen Anywhere And Is Fun For All
There aren’t many other forms of showing pure joy than dancing by yourself or with friends to great music. This activity is often forgotten as a form of exercise but it’s a great way to ease stress and burn calories. Doing so in a social setting further allows individuals to feel comfort and support which helps in cutting out anxiety and stress from daily life.
Healthy Routines Keep You In A Positive and Motivated State Of Mind
Getting told constantly by your surroundings that this new trend or that is going to be your ticket to a healthier you isn’t always easy to believe. There are so many trends out there that haven’t really stood the test of time and fade into obscurity seemingly in the blink of an eye. Diets come and go and exercises evolve to better help individuals with their specific needs; but in reality yoga, and the healthy lifestyle choices that go along with it, isn’t just a new thing. People have been practicing yoga for over five thousand years. That alone should be significant proof that there is something special happening in the bodies and minds of true believers in the benefits of the activity and daily practice!