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Does Yoga Have Cardio Metabolic Effects?

Update Date: Feb 10, 2017 08:02 AM EST

Yoga may have some cardio metabolic effects aside from its claim to reduce stress, enhance well-being and even muscle flexibility. According to a recent study, high speed yoga may have significant outcomes compared to the standard speed program.

A study titled "Differences In Energy Expenditure During High Speed Versus Standard Speed Yoga: A Randomized Sequence Crossover Trial" aimed to compare energy expenditure, volume of oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production during a high speed and standard yoga program by using a randomized repeated measures controlled trial.

The result showed significant differences within three categories with the high speed yoga yielding higher output. The study concluded that high speed yoga may be an effective alternative for individuals who want to target cardio metabolic markers.

Yoga can be considered an aerobic exercise if done rapidly. Aerobic exercise is linked to improved health and prolonged life spans. Current guidelines encourage people to get not less than 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic exercise.

In the United States, yoga consists of bodily poses interspersed with breathing exercises and meditation. The sun salutation, a series of downward facing dog and is often performed at the start of yoga class, is one of the most physically demanding segment. The energy exerted by those who move slowly during sun salutation is compared to a stroll of three miles per hour.

Scientists from University of Miami wanted to know if less languid toga would be more beneficial. They looked into 22 healthy adult male and female volunteers and measured their energy expenditure and muscular activity. For eight minutes, the volunteers completed as many sun salutations as possible.

The result showed that doing yoga faster burned more calories. About 48 calories were burned during the eight minutes doing the rapid yoga. Only 29 calories were shed doing the standard sun salutation. Still, the non-aerobic benefits of yoga should be considered as it provides psychological benefits as well. 

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