I got a text from an old friend a few days ago:
“I have a question for you-- I always admired how you're so fit and I know you do a lot of yoga.
Until recently I was trying to do a lot of running but I feel like it's just not effective and it's hard on the body so I wanna get back into yoga.
Can you tell me if just doing yoga is enough for exercise or do you do other types of workouts as well?”
Here is my response:
Yoga = Longevity of the Body
Exercise = A Fit, Tone, Body
Of course, it’s more complicated than that, and everyone is different. It all depends on one’s personal fitness goals, starting point, age, gender, diet, and genetics.
Yoga will give you longevity, not necessarily a body that belongs in a fitness magazine. People who are on the thicker side are still able to be great yogis! If you are aiming for weight loss you should know that you can be super flexible but if you are doing traditional yoga you most likely won’t be burning enough calories to shed all of the unwanted weight. Getting rid of extra fatty areas is about diet and doing workouts that tone the specific areas. And wile there is nothing wrong with being thick and flexy, some people have different goals.
Benefits of yoga include becoming flexible, building endurance, controlling your breath, checking in with your body and mind, and finding stillness. You gain longevity from yoga because it keeps you flexible, creates good posture and in turn helps you to perform daily tasks as you age. It also keeps the muscles lean.
Running however is extremely hard on the body, if you can run in sand or grass that is best, AVOID pavement. Running on an elliptical is a great way to get your daily cardio (which will help shed pounds) without harsh impact. However, H.I.T classes are also a great way to get in a really great workout, they are usually short 30 minutes classes, they get you sweating fast! To burn the same amount calories running, it would take a long distance which will eat up more of your day. Personally, running is hard on my knees, and it is a last resort type of workout. While you don't want to make H.I.T. classes your only source of working out over a long period of time, they are a great way to jump start your fitness program and incorporate them a few times a week.
If you want to get fit and tone, bottom line is you have to workout. You don’t need to spend hours at the gym, just 30-60 minutes a day, 4-7 days a week, and you need good eating habits. Some pretty standard tips you’ll get from almost anyone include: Making sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day to flush out built up toxins in your body, lay off sugary & processed foods, and lower your alcohol intake.
Most of us women don’t want to look totally ripped, just toned, using low impact resistance bands will help you tone the body without getting bulky. Throughout the week, the right mix of H.I.T. classes, the elliptical, yoga, and booty workouts is my personal favorite way to stay in my desired shape.
Eating habits are key! It’s important that you don't eat food that reacts poorly with your body. Eating REAL food is always best, nothing processed, and in my opinion organic is always best. When you go to the grocery store, avoid the middle aisles of the store! I’ve tried lots of different eating habits. Paleo gave me the best results. Currently I am mostly a vegan, but sometimes my body does crave red meat, but I am always careful where I find it. My suggestion for you, find what works and allow it to evolve as you grow.
Like for me, I know processed bread will make me feel and look bloated, so I stay clear of it, I am basically gluten free. That's what my genetics demand for me to stay fit, not everyone is the same.
It's tricky, but once you find your right diet that will take you farther than any workout!
You don’t have to do “Yoga” to have longevity in your body. Yoga is traditionally a practice that involves the mind and body. It is not meant to only activate the body, it is a meditative practice. You don’t have to exercise and do yoga daily. However, you should always stretch after a workout! If you let your body get tight, moving will become difficult because your fascia will not be loose. In the long run, this will affect your overall health, and could make you more prone to injury. Foam and ball rolling is also a great compliment to your workouts and keep your fascia from getting tight. When your fascia gets to tense it can limit your mobility, which is no good!
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