Yoga is one of the finest and most beneficial exercises for people of all ages. However, if you’ve just decided to add yoga to your daily fitness routine, you must first determine whether it is the right choice for you or not. Besides that, there are lots of yoga terms and concepts that you must first understand before starting your journey. Moreover, if you’re a beginner, you must know whether yoga is aerobic or anaerobic to understand its benefits.
Once you’ve learned whether yoga is aerobic or anaerobic, you’ll be able to decide whether it’s suitable for you or not. Also, learning the difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercises will help you make better decisions regarding your health, especially your heart rate. However, a study states that several people have experienced adverse effects and injuries from yoga just because they weren’t well aware of how to perform it. Though yoga has numerous benefits, you must learn whether it’s aerobic or anaerobic before practicing it.
What Are Aerobic Exercises?
An aerobic exercise is any activity that involves ‘oxygen.’ This means that aerobic exercises will involve more oxygen that keeps your heart beating more efficiently and your lungs full of oxygen. Aerobic exercises, also known as cardio, help your muscles retain oxygen and give them the strength to move. Besides that, the burst of oxygen also pushes your body to produce energy by burning the stored fats and carbs to utilize them for various tasks. Aerobic exercises include running, walking, jogging, cycling, skipping, swimming, and other exercises that increase the heart rate.
Benefits of Aerobic Exercises
The main benefit of aerobic exercises is that they keep the heart pumping and your body working. Following are the main benefits of aerobic exercises:
Improves Cardiovascular Health: Aerobic exercises can improve heart health by increasing the good cholesterol that leads to clean arteries. Besides that, it may also decrease the resting heart rate for improved heart health.
Controls Diabetes: The exercises can help control diabetes by improving the blood flow and regulating the heart rate. Due to the improved blood circulation, the body starts using glucose or sugar to produce energy which regulates the blood sugar.
Lowers Blood Pressure: Aerobic exercises regulate blood pressure by improving blood circulation. This way, the blood vessels easily flow throughout the body and clear the clogged arteries, thus reducing the blood pressure.
Helps With Weight Loss: Aerobic exercises also help manage weight by burning more calories. These exercises improve your metabolism and allow the body to burn more fats to produce energy, resulting in weight loss.
Improves Sleep: These exercises help with insomnia because of improved body functions. With an improved heart rate and regulated blood pressure, sleep quality also improves.
Helps Relieve Symptoms of Asthma: Aerobic exercises reduce symptoms of asthma by allowing you to manage your breath more efficiently. However, it is always better to consult your doctor if you have severe asthma or breathing issues.
Boost Metabolism: With the help of aerobic exercises, the body can burn more calories in the presence of oxygen. Oxygen burns fats, carbohydrates, and amino acids with the help of oxygen to produce energy.
How Does Yoga Compare to Aerobic Exercises?
There are lots of similarities when we compare yoga to aerobic exercises. For instance, both exercises improve your heart health and enhance blood flow. Plus, yoga and aerobic exercises improve overall sleep quality and help the body relax and perform better. On the other hand, there are several differences too. For example, aerobic exercises take longer to finish than yoga. Consider walking and jogging; you must do these aerobic exercises for an hour daily to see the results. However, aerobic exercises are still quicker to improve fitness than yoga and burn more calories.
Is Yoga Aerobic?
Yoga improves heart health, but it doesn’t do so by increasing the heart rate. On the other hand, aerobic exercises such as swimming, cycling, and running increase heart rate. Though Yoga also focuses on breathing and oxygen intake, it doesn’t make your heart pump quickly. Besides, yoga is not considered an exercise as it is not fast, repetitive, and rigorous compared to other exercises. In general, yoga combines a few features of aerobic exercises and calm postures to give results. Yoga is more meditative and relaxing, and you won’t feel pumped up while doing them.
What Are Anaerobic Exercises?
Anaerobic exercises, unlike aerobic ones, include exercises that don’t involve oxygen. Though they are intense and rigorous, just like aerobic exercises, they burn glucose to produce energy without oxygen. These exercises are more intense and are high-power versions of regular exercises. Examples include weightlifting, sprinting, plyometrics, biking, and High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
Benefits of Anaerobic Exercises
The main benefit of anaerobic exercises is increasing the body’s overall strength. These exercises make you more powerful and help in weight loss too. Following are the benefits of anaerobic exercises:
Increases Muscle Strength: The anaerobic exercises improve muscle strength and help you build muscles. These exercises involve activities that add more pressure and resistance to the muscles. This causes the muscles to break down and then build again to become stronger and bigger.
Increases Bone Density: These exercises improve bone density and lower the risk of injuries. Since these exercises strengthen the muscles around the bones, joints, and ligaments, they protect them more efficiently. This also decreases the risk of osteoporosis.
Reduces Risk of Diseases: With the increase in the body’s strength due to strong muscles and bones, the body becomes more capable of fighting various diseases. The high-intensity training makes your body strong enough and reduces the risk of diseases, including chronic diseases.
Helps With Weight Loss: Since the body starts burning more calories by converting glucose to energy, the body starts losing weight. The anaerobic exercises allow your body to handle lactic acid more efficiently and help the body maintain a healthy weight.
Boosts Metabolism: Anaerobic exercises boost metabolism by building lean muscle mass. With the help of these exercises, your body gets rid of extra fats and relies on lean muscle mass for burning calories. The leaner the muscle mass, the more calories will burn. Metabolism by anaerobic exercise is different from that of aerobic exercises. Anaerobic metabolism doesn’t need oxygen to burn; it uses glucose and glycogen to burn calories.
How Does Yoga Compare to Anaerobic Exercises?
Yoga and anaerobic exercises have similarities, just like there are similarities between yoga and aerobic exercises. Anaerobic exercises focus on muscle gain and strength by providing resistance against them. On the other hand, yoga focuses on your body weight and works with your body’s resistance. The anaerobic exercises also use external tools such as weights, resistance bands, dumbbells, and other tools for strength training, but yoga uses only your body’s resistance.
Besides, there are a few similarities between both activities; some of the exercises are similar because they have the same posture. For instance, the anaerobic exercise squats have a similar posture as Yoga’s Goddess Pose and Chair Pose.
Is Yoga Anaerobic?
A few anaerobic exercises have features of both anaerobic and yoga. For instance, HIIT is an anaerobic exercise called a yoga fusion. Also, a few yoga practices these days involve external tools such as resistance bands and dumbbells. A new version of yoga called ‘Iron Yoga’ uses dumbbells during practice. On the other hand, some yoga exercises are not even close to anaerobic exercises, including Restorative Yoga and Yin Yoga. These yoga practices don’t fall in the category of aerobic exercises either.
What Are the Benefits of Yoga?
Many people prefer yoga over aerobic and anaerobic exercises because of its benefits. Yoga doesn’t only offer physical benefits; it also helps you stay calm, gets rid of stress and fatigue, and fight depression. It not only focuses on strengthening your body’s bones and muscles but also improves overall body functions. For instance, it improves the digestive, cardiovascular, and circulatory systems. The best thing about yoga is that it doesn’t need a lot of force and strength, and anyone of any age can do it quickly.
Yoga is about balance and motivation and helps tone the body if you get perfect. Many yogis consider it a form of self-care that makes your body more flexible and helps increase your spirituality. Practicing yoga has many benefits, and whether it’s aerobic or anaerobic doesn’t lower its benefits. Yoga slows your breathing, decreases your heart rate, and improves your body functions and physical capabilities.
Now that we’ve compared the aerobic, anaerobic, and yoga exercises with each other, we have a better understanding of their similarities and differences. Coming to the question if yoga is anaerobic or aerobic, we can conclude that it is neither anaerobic nor aerobic.
Yogis consider yoga a mind-body workout and do not consider it physical exercise. It involves stretching, breathing, and strengthening with relaxation and meditation practices. A few types of yoga, such as Yin and Slow-Flow Yoga, have similarities with anaerobic exercises, but the differences are more. On the other hand, aerobic exercises have a few similarities with yoga, but yoga doesn’t entirely fall into the category of aerobic exercises.