Physical activity should be a part of everyone daily life. It promotes health and longevity for your entire lifetime. Choosing the right workout niche can be tough, they are all very different and have focuses on different benefits. It is important to know what you want to achieve with your body and the best way to go about it. Weight training and yoga are two of the most popular types of exercise that people in today’s world practice. Let’s look at the risks and benefits that each have associated with them.
What’s Up With Weight Training?
Weight training is when you use heavy weight exercises in order to gain muscle toning and strength. There are many benefits that come along with the use of weights but also some risks involved.
Having an increased muscle mass burns more calories, even when you are doing nothing. This is because it takes the body more work to maintain your muscle than it does to maintain fat. Each pound of muscle you put on burns an additional 50 calories each day. Along with looking and feeling great, weight training provides many other benefits for the entire body. Your overall body flexibility is greatly increased because you are putting your muscles through a full range of motions. Endurance and strength are another large benefit of lifting weights. Other health benefits include improved immune system, reduced risk of diabetes and heart disease, and increased good cholesterol.
As with any exercise routine, some injury risks are associated. Muscle tears from lifting too heavy of weights is a common problem among weight trainers. Joint injuries can also develop overtime from the strain placed on them, particularly in the wrist and knees.
Because of the high risk environment with weights, knowing proper safety is essential. Beginning with a sensible amount of weight is the biggest safety guidelines you should understand. Your biggest risk of injury comes from over doing it. Start slow and gradually increase the weight you use. Knowing how to properly use all machines and weight lifting tools is also very important, misuse of weight machines can lead to very serious injuries. Giving your muscles an appropriate time to rest and heal is also quite important. You should allow a muscle group to rest for 48 hours before training them again.
Overview of Yoga
1. What It Is
Yoga is the combination of spiritual, mental, and physical health practices. It is low impact and involves doing and holding different poses that focus on certain areas of the body. Along with the physical aspect, yoga is often done in conjunction with spiritual meditation.
There are countless different types of yoga, all with unique benefits and charactristics. Some of the most common are Hatha and Raja. In Hatha yoga specific postures and breathing exercises are done, often guided by a certified instructor, in order to develop flexibility and awareness. Raja yoga, common in Hinduism, includes all forms of yoga and has a very strong focus on mental health. There are many other kinds of yoga including Bikram, Ashtanga, Kundalini, and Kripalu.
The benefits you can achieve from practicing yoga depends largely on the style of yoga you do. However, there are some general benefits including increased flexibility from the stretching of the muscles, improve posture, decreased stress. The focus on breathing exercises also helps you learn how to relax. Your heart also reaps great benefits from yoga, it can lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease.
Differences Between Weight Training and Yoga
The most defining difference between doing yoga and weight training is the level of intensity each bring. Yoga is normally very low impact and relaxing. It focuses on stretching the muscles instead of strengthening them. Weight training can be very intense. The practice of lifting heavy weights puts a lot of strain on your muscles and is designed to force them to grow.
Weight training requires…well weights. These can be costly. Many gyms are fully equipped with a full set of weights, bench presses, and weight machines that you can utilize. Yoga however does not require anything besides your body. Making it a much more accessible workout for most people.
The benefits to your health and body are also very different when it comes to weight training and yoga. As far as body benefits go weights give you larger and more defined muscle mass, which also make you look great. Yoga, while it does involve strength, focuses largely on flexibility. Lean muscle mass is developed instead of large muscle mass.
Weight training comes with it’s own safety risks. Injuries are much more common among weight lifters than people who do yoga. Yoga can cause some muscle strain, but the risk is exponentially lower than if lifting weights.