Walking And Yoga: Benefits And Effects

Julie Dattani

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Walking And Yoga: Benefits And Effects

I always say not to compare two things. The competition should be with the self and not others. But when it comes to the debate, there is a time when we need to compare a few things. The most common question I came through in my yoga profession is, “how many calories do you burn when you do yoga?” Walking offers similar benefits too. So, let’s talk more on walking and yoga.

I have heard people saying walking is better than yoga; it burns so many calories. Smartwatches are set to show calories burnt in walking but does not show calories burnt in yoga, which does not mean no calories are burnt in yoga. The word yoga is very small to the world; people think it is very slow, where we almost do nothing, as we do not get tired. But that is the aim of yoga, not to get tired but get rejuvenated, refreshed.

After an hour of yoga, you do not feel lethargic or tired, whereas you feel tiresome after 40 minutes of walk, giving you a euphoric effect (a false feeling of well-being) due to the release of the endorphin hormone. You feel drained out physically and mentally if you increase the walk time to an hour. Sleep is deprived if you go for a walk in the late evenings. Let’s have a look at the comparison between walking and yoga.

Comparison Between Walking And Yoga

Lethargy, tiresomeRefreshed, rejuvenated
Euphoric effectCalming effect
The happy feeling lasts for some timeLong-lasting calming effect
physically and mentally stressedNo physical or mental stress
Endorphine hormone releasedDopamine, oxytocin, serotonin
Only lower body workoutEntire body workout
No strengtheningStretching and strengthening
Over-working of leg musclesEqual attention to all muscles
Only leg muscles involvedEvery major and minor muscle involved
Degenerative changes seen in jointsMuscles become strong and flexible
Cannot be done in the late eveningsCan be done at any time of the day
Long-term consequences are seen No visible consequences
No effect on certain disorders seenCan reverse many disorders
Leg pain sometimesMany pains can be reversed or avoided

Now let’s talk about the benefits of walking and yoga. I am not biased about any one activity; I just wanted to open the eyes of the people who are against or do not trust yoga. Yes, walking has its benefits, but one should be aware of the long-term consequences, which I would like to mention here about walking and yoga.


Advantages Of Walking

Advantages Of Walking
Source: Insider

Weight loss is seen in a regular walking regime. Blood sugar levels are maintained in a person who walks regularly. It is easy to adhere to this regime. Buying good shoes and good attire encourages a person to get up and move out for a walk. The morning atmosphere is soothing and less polluted. Exploring new routes and new challenges becomes easier. Walking on an inclined path feels good. Sweating gives the feeling of weight loss.

Disadvantages Of Walking

Disadvantages Of Walking
Source: Good Housekeeping

Due to many situations like pandemic, rains, heat, walking is not possible. It works only on the lower body. It may cause physical harm. You feel tired, physically and mentally. Apart from the things mentioned above, I would like to explain something we do not always consider.

Let’s talk a bit about the human body’s anatomy and physiology, not the entire body but only the knees. The knee is made up of 2 joints with a plate covering the front side called the kneecap. Between the two joints, there is a fluid that makes the movements easy. By degenerative changes or due to the knee’s overwork, this fluid gets reduced, and when the joints move, friction is produced, causing pain in the knee joints or sometimes the entire leg.

You feel hungry once you are back from a walk. The reason can be the different aromas of the restaurants you pass by. One more reason for this is that more energy is utilized, giving you the feeling of hunger to fulfill the body’s needs, as the body assumes that it will have to use its stored energy.

Sometimes, you tend to eat immediately after a walk, leading to bloating in the stomach and weight gain. Even if not eaten immediately, you tend to eat the wrong stuff, assuming that you can eat anything as you have taken a walk. But in fact, you do not burn more than 300 calories, no matter how far you walk or how fast you walk. Whereas in one meal you consume more than 300 calories.


Advantages Of Yoga

Advantages Of Yoga
Source: Women’s Health

It promotes the flexibility of the muscles. A few stretching asanas work specifically for the knee and help reduce the pain to some extent, and a few strengthening asanas do not allow the pain to come back as it gives strength to those muscles. It makes most of the body’s muscles flexible, avoiding spasm of the muscles on and off.

Posture correction also happens in this as awareness of posture is a part of yoga. Unlike walking, yoga works on the entire body, whether it is the lower or upper body or the abdomen region. Yoga can get rid of many disorders like diabetes, hypertension, acidity, and a few more.

On the other hand, yoga does not leave a person tired as we end the session with a resting pose followed by pranayam to calm down the mind. Weight loss may not happen, but you lose a few inches with the help of yoga, as it works on every part of the body. Unknowingly, yoga helps reduce abdomen fats as we work on every muscle of the body. The person feels so refreshed as the mind calms down, and there is no lethargy. If we talk about hunger, no much difference is seen as not much energy is utilized, so the body does not require excess food.

Disadvantages Of Yoga

Disadvantages Of Yoga
Source: Insider

The only disadvantage here is that a trained person must teach yoga asana. It would be a very wrong practice to learn yoga without any guidance. Though this is not a disadvantage for some, it may be, as they have to go to some institute or hire a person to guide them.

Walking and yoga both offer health benefits to our bodies. Both are important forms of body exercises to keep your body fit and healthy. Although they might have a few demerits as stated above, it comes down to your choice to follow, suiting you the best.

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