Nowadays, we are all becoming more aware of the importance of incorporating physical activities into our lifestyle. Social running groups, gym memberships, and cycling groups are pretty common, particularly in big cities.
For most people, yoga and walking are both seen as lifestyles workouts. Some people opt for yoga, while some choose walking over yoga. Though there are obviously subjective reasons why people prefer one or the other, you can look into the advantages of both to better understand which one is better for you. Yoga vs walking, which one should you choose?
Walking is considered an exercise, which helps individuals create and maintain a lifelong healthy lifestyle. Yoga is a holistic practice connecting the mind and body and involves physical movements and breathing exercises. In addition, yoga is a self-soothing process and helps you achieve calmness and find peace within yourself.
Whichever exercise you choose, the most important thing is to keep yourself moving because sitting time is linked with mortality from all causes, including cancer, according to a 2018 study issued by the American Journal of Epidemiology.
And, generally, the more active you are, the better, and keep in mind that even small increases in your physical activity level can have a pretty dramatic impact on your health.
Read on to find out yoga vs walking, which burns more calories, their advantages and key Differences, and how to get started.
See also: Yoga And Meditation: Which One Should You Choose?
Table of Contents
Which Burns More Calories Walking Or Yoga?
Several studies showed that yoga and walking burn the same amount of calories if done at the same intensity. However, research showed that walking at high intensity burns more calories. And, combining yoga and walking will lead to even greater weight loss and best results.
One study found that both yoga and walking lead to the same amount of calorie burn. The researchers found brisk walking for about 3.5 miles (5.64 km) per hour is equivalent to burning 330 calories for women and men 460 per 90-minute yoga session.
When practiced at the same intensity, yoga and walking have similar results on weight loss, according to a study issued by the Colorado State University.
Another study found that the caloric burn during yoga is similar to walking on a treadmill at 3.2 kph.
The table below shows that walking at a high intensity (about 15 min/mi or 4 mph) helps burn more calories than doing Hatha Yoga, regardless of the individual weight. (Source Harvard Health Publishing)
Yoga Vs. Walking: What Are Calories Burned in 1 hour
|125-pound Individual||155-pound Individual||185-pound Individual|
|Walking about 17 min/mi or 3.5 mph||214||266||318|
|Walking about 15 min/mi or 4 mph||270||350||378|
Is Walking Or Yoga Good For Weight Loss?
Walking is a weight-bearing exercise, which can help improve bone and cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol levels. The faster you walk, the more calories you burn.
Combined with a caloric deficit diet, both walking and yoga can help you lose weight. Yoga improves balance, flexibility, coordination, posture, and concentration.
In addition, yoga is more efficient than walking in improving cardiac function in the elderly with high pulse pressure, found a 2017 study.
See also: 25 Minutes Yoga For Quick Weight Loss [With Videos]
Yoga Vs Walking: Advantages
Let’s now discuss the benefits of both yoga and walking to help you make an informed decision.
Walking is one of the most underrated forms of exercise. It is the easiest and most effective way to create, develop, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Generally, you can easily fit walking into your lifestyle, it can be in the early morning, the middle of the day, or even late at night. You can go for a walk during your lunch if you work at the office, walk your dog, or while talking on the phone.
The best time for walking is always the time that fits your schedule best, and the longer and faster your walks, the better. Ideally, aim to walk for at least 30 minutes daily to meet your daily number of steps.
Below are a few benefits of incorporating walk.
Walking has the following advantages:
- Walking everyday helps to burn a good number of calories. It is said that for a healthy lifestyle, a daily walk of 30 minutes is a must. So, walking is good for weight loss.
- Walking, especially the morning walk, decreases cholesterol level of the body. So, walking is highly recommended to high cholesterol patients.
- Walking also makes the body strong and increases its stamina. A 30 minutes walk daily keeps the body fit and healthy, and also keeps the fatigue away at the end of the day.
- As you walk you use almost all the muscles in your body making the body toned and fit.
- Walking prevents us from getting caught by bone-related diseases like arthritis, according to the Arthritis Foundation. That is why walking is considered essential for not only old people but also young people also. Because the healthier you are in your youth, the better your old age.
- Apart from bone-related diseases, walking also prevents diabetes. Because it reduces the blood sugar level.
- Walking lifts your mood. A 2016 study observed that even 12 minutes of walking increased joy, attentiveness, vigor, and self-confidence compared to the same time spent sitting.
See also: Walking vs Cycling: Which One Is Better For Toning Thighs?
How to Get Started With Walking?
- To start walking, all you will need is a pair of decent walking shoes.
- Choose a walking road near your home, walk the nearby park, a trail, or the beach.
- Go for a walk with a family member or friend.
- If you commute, get off your bus or train one stop early and walk the rest of the way to work.
- Whenever possible, park your vehicle a little farther away from your office.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevators
- Consider walking rather than driving when you run errands.
- Discuss with your doctor before embarking on any new fitness program, mainly if you are aged over 40 years, haven’t exercised in a long time, are overweight.
Yoga is excellent to kick-start your day because it strengthens the connection between the body and the mind.
In addition, yoga strengthens your will and enables you to meet the day’s challenges head-on.
While both yoga and walking help to lose weight, yoga helps to build up concentration. The breathing exercises clear the mind and promotes positive energy.
Since you can make time to walk during the day, it is good to start the day with yoga and take the stairs instead of the elevator if you feel the need to walk.
Yoga has the following advantages:
- As yoga includes physical exercises as well, besides spiritual or relaxing exercises, it is also considered good for weight loss.
- Yoga boosts up your energy level. For instance, 1 hour of yoga daily keeps you fresh and positive all day.
- Yoga lowers down the risk of diseases both at young age and in old age.
- Yoga improves the functioning of the nervous system and makes your mind sharp.
- It also keeps your heart healthy by improving cardiovascular health.
- Yoga prevents your body from getting stiff, as it improves the body’s flexibility.
- As yoga makes one mindful, it reduces stress and anxiety.
- Yoga increases the attention span of an individual. So, people who do yoga stay more focused on their goals and face less distraction.
- It keeps an individual both mentally and physically strong. A 25-minute single guided protocol of alternate nostril yoga breathing significantly reduced blood pressure and breathing rate in hypertensive and healthy yoga practitioners, according to a 2014 study issued by Medical Science Monitor Basic Research.
Getting Started With Yoga:
After discussing the advantages of yoga and walking, do you think yoga is as effective as walking? In other words, is yoga as effective as walking?
Discussing the key differences between yoga and walking will help us sort out this ambiguity. So, let’s discuss how yoga and walking are different from each other.
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Yoga Vs Walking: Key Differences
- A morning walk will keep your fresh and active all day, but not as much as yoga does. Only the body is used while walking, and the mind wanders off. But in yoga, both mind and body are used at the same time, keeping you focused on the present and thus, making you mindful.
- Walking can keep an individual both mentally and physically fit. But yoga can keep an individual spiritually fit along with keeping him or her mentally and physically fit.
- Well, walking can reduce the blood sugar level and can prove very healthy for diabetic patients, but not as much as yoga can. Because yoga metabolizes the sugar even better than the morning walk. So, yoga is healthier for diabetic patients than walking is.
- Walking is considered good for relieving stress, but yoga is considered even better. Because yoga connects us with our inner selves and lets us know what we are feeling and why. So, yoga is a better mode elevator than walking is.
- As yoga is known for increasing the oxygen supply in the body, it makes skin more glowing as compared to walking.
So, this was how yoga and walking differ from each other. Let’s conclude now which one is better than the other.
Yoga Vs Walking: Which Is Better?
The most important thing in choosing between yoga or walking is the activity you enjoy the most. Therefore, the best kind of exercise for you is the one you will keep doing, whether because you enjoy it, it suits your schedule, or because it comes with a decent dose of nature or social interaction, or even all of those things.
Remember that mixing yoga and walking means you get several benefits at once while lowering the risk of all kinds of diseases.
However, yoga seems much better than walking, according to research. A study of 28 people performing 60-minute vinyasa yoga sessions, treadmill walking at a self-selected brisk pace. The researchers assessed their energy expenditure and concluded yoga offers higher health benefits than walking.
Apart from weight loss, yoga is a better mood lifter than walking is. A daily morning walk keeps your mind and body active and fresh, but yoga does more than that. It keeps you spiritually active. You connect to the universe through it. You practice mindfulness through it. It makes you feel more alive than walking does.
Furthermore, yoga is considered better than walking for reducing stress and anxiety. Even psychologists include yoga in the management plans of their clients who suffer from anxiety and stress.
Now that we discussed the benefits of yoga and walking, you have to ask yourself, what do you want? Walking, particularly fast-paced helps increase heart rate, blood circulation, and stamina better than yoga.
Both yoga and walking help lose weight. Yoga has numerous asanas that help build muscles. However, yoga will require you commit mentally and spiritually, and physically.
If you can commit to practicing yoga, I would recommend you choose yoga. But if you want to incorporate an easy and healthy habit to help you lose weight or increase stamina, then start walking tomorrow in the morning or evening.
See also: 6 Reasons Why You Must Set Fitness Goals.
Yoga Vs Walking: Which One Comes First?
Taking a short walk is a good idea before practicing yoga. If you go for a walk after yoga, it won’t affect your walk much. Because walking warms your body up, and your body would already be warmed by doing yoga. Instead, you can use this warmth of walking before yoga.
Exercising in the traditional sense offers tremendous benefits, including walking, biking, running, walking on a treadmill, working out with weights, using your body weight to build muscles, and stretching each part of your body.
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The Bottom Line
Yoga is better than walking. Yoga is a way of life, including asanas that work on different levels, internally, externally, physiologically, and even spiritually.
In addition, yoga addresses various aspects of mental, physical, and spiritual fitness. In contrast, walking offer overall circulation, stamina, well-being and help lose weight loss if done briskly.
The best exercise is always what you have found to enjoy most. I would recommend practicing yoga and walking and find out which one gives you the maximum sense of satisfaction in reaching your health and fitness goals.