Can Yoga Keep You Slim?
The whole question of 'Can yoga keep you slim?' can be seen as a result of the increased attention and popularity that it has been receiving lately not only from ordinary people, but from celebrities as well. Known personalities like Madonna and Sting for example have been vocal enough to accredit yoga for their well-toned bodies. There are still those like Sally Fields, Warren Beatty, Jodie Foster, and Daryl Hannah among others, who have used yoga to maintain calmness and remain fit.
The popularity and perceived benefits that yoga can deliver has made it a staple activity in many gyms and health centers. Visually, many yoga practitioners appear very slim and fit compared to those who are involved in more traditional types of exercises. It is therefore easy to address the question of 'Can yoga keep you slim?' with an affirmative. However, to make it more substantial, here are some reasons why the practice can make you slim and healthier as well.
Promotes Mindful Eating Habits
In the August issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, it focuses on a study by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and that of the University of Washington, where over 300 people were asked to respond to a questionnaire about mindful eating. Essentially, mindful eating is perceived to help people to avoid eating when they already feel full, regardless how delicious the meal they are eating may be.
The amount of discipline and self-control extends to avoiding temptations from food advertisements as well as efficiently dealing with emotional eating habits. The result of the research revealed that those who engaged in mindful eating habits actually weighed less than those who didn't based on the use of the Body Mass Index (BMI) measurement. The findings also revealed that about 40% of the respondents who practiced yoga for at least an hour weekly had a 23.1 BMI on the average. This is in comparison to the 25.8 average BMI of those who didn't.
From these results, the question of 'Can yoga keep you slim?' seems to be resolved. Moreover, it is recommended that people engaged in traditional diets should practice yoga so that they can effectively limit their calorie intake and subscribe to ideal portion sizes. This is achieved through the mental focus that yoga can deliver to allow them to eat only when they are truly hungry.
Improved Bodily Functions
Another way to look at the concern of 'Can yoga keep you slim?' is by focusing on its effects on the body. Many yoga practitioners have reported improved bodily functions after a while. This means many have gotten better digestion and enhanced quality of sleep after practicing yoga for a substantial period. There is no question that the improvement of digestion and better quality of sleep can contribute to a healthier body and better weight management.
Couple this with the flexibility and increased energy that yoga can deliver, then it would be easy to see how practitioners can easily do exercises without having to deal with creaking bones and aching bodies. The various yoga poses also do more for the body like allowing for better blood circulation deep into the body organs. This results in better nourishment of the body organs, muscles, and ligament tissues for better overall performance.
Many of the yoga poses involve deep stretching, which is known to help develop the bones and muscles while at the same time allowing for ample lubrication of the joints. This puts just the right amount of pressure on the various organs of the body, making the effects of yoga very systemic. As the body becomes more tone, both inside and outside, the more muscles developed will allow for faster and better burning of calories.
The liver, kidneys, lungs, spleen, and heart all directly benefit from the practice of yoga. These are essential organs that are required to keep the weight in check and assure proper metabolic functions of the body. This means that it substantiates the claim of yoga to have a positive effect on both mind and body. The breathing techniques taught by yoga also benefit the nervous system, allowing a person to achieve a relaxed state.
Through a more relaxed state, the negative effects of stress to the body are automatically negated. This means that the body organs will not be damaged as much and eating binges brought about by stress can also be effectively avoided.
Keeps Weight Down
There have been numerous studies done to determine the weight loss effects of yoga. In one study of men from 45 to 55 years old, factors like diet and other forms of exercise, which can have a substantial effect on their weight change, were disregarded. The result showed that yoga can help them shed pounds or at the very least allow them to keep their weight down. According to the study, overweight people who started practicing yoga lost around five pounds.
The importance of this is highlighted when placed side by side with the result of those who did not practice yoga during the same period. This is because those who did not practice yoga actually gained 14 pounds. In the context of the study, a yoga session was set to be about 30 minutes a week and have been regularly done for at least four years. There were no scientific explanations given as to how the practice of yoga specifically allowed this to be achieved.
The common rationality expressed is focused on the positive effects of yoga on both mind and body. Yoga practitioners are generally aware of what is going on internally, which allows them to adjust to the way they consume food. Yoga experts believe that practitioners are susceptible to the influence of change, which makes it easier for them to adjust to better eating habits as well as improved lifestyle changes.
These factors that go in favor of yoga make it easier to justify the affirmative response to the question of 'Can yoga keep you slim?'
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