Practicing yoga for four years or more makes you less likely to gain weight and more likely to maintain a normal weight than people who don’t do yoga, according to the results of a database review from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. To get started doing yoga, train with a certified instructor. You can attend a beginners class at a yoga studio near you or practice at home with a video.
Information on the Participants
For this yoga study, researchers examined an aggregate of data from the Vitamin and Lifestyle study (VITAL). They examined self-reported surveys, from 15,550 participants between the ages of 53 and 57. Of all the participants, 1,039 practiced yoga and 43 percent of those people practiced yoga for less than 30 minutes per session. The participants had not indicated which style of yoga they practice.
Yoga Prevents Weight-Gain
People who do yoga for four years or more are less likely to gain weight and more likely to maintain a normal weight. The researchers found a strong correlation between lower weight gain and the intensity of the participant’s yoga practice. In comparison to people who don’t do yoga, at age 45 yogis of normal weight had about 3.1 pounds less of weight gain and overweight yogis had 18.5 pounds less. The researchers examined the data to see if the reduced weight gain was due to caloric reduction, but found these models only accounted for 0.4 pounds and 1.2 pounds difference respectively.
Yoga People Eat Healthier Diets
Researchers found people who practiced yoga for four or more years consumed a significantly more healthful diet than people who didn’t do yoga. In fact, the yogis obtained 11 percent less of their calories from fat and ate 45 percent more fruits and vegetables than people who didn’t do yoga.
Yoga People Do More Physical Activity
The data showed yogis were significantly more physically active outside of yoga class, than those who didn’t do yoga. Yogis practicing for four years or more were did more than double the hours of high-intensity physical activity, than people who didn’t do yoga.