Samreen Samad settles the ongoing debate about whether going to the gym is better than doing yoga. She talks to Sonal Ahuja from Clay and gym instructor Rupesh Poojari from PowerHouse Gym about the advantages and disadvantages of each
Which do you pick? The high intensity workouts of a gym, or the peaceful yet powerful environment associated with yoga? These days, especially before the festive season, everyone wants to look good but most of us don’t know where to turn. Most people seem to believe that yoga is only for your mind, with mild stretching thrown in here and there; and that the gym is simply for bulking up. However, there’s more to it than that. We help you decide which option is best for you…
Quick weight loss
Gym Working out at the gym 5 times a week can make you shed the kilos in a month.
Yoga Power yoga and Hot yoga will help you lose weight, but the process is slower than gym work outs. Sonal says, “It is important that you maintain a strict saatvik diet for quick weight loss. Doing yoga 4 times a week can make you lose weight in 3 months.”
Verdict Gym. If you’re in a hurry, the gym works faster than yoga.
Toning up your body
Gym Weight training helps tone, lift, firm and shape your body with the help of weights. It also helps to re-shape sagging arms and buttocks. It is also helpful if you want to gain weight and look bigger.
Yoga Yoga doesn’t really lend itself to bulking up. Sonal says, “Yoga makes you slimmer, but if you want to tighten the body, weight training is a better option.” However, yoga promotes muscle mass and improves body toning.
Verdict Gym. It tightens up and firms the muscles to a more noticeable degree.
Long term benefits
Gym Gym helps burn calories, increases efficiency of the heart and lungs, builds muscles and strength and helps improve posture. It also provides support for joints and reduces cholesterol levels from the blood.
Yoga Yoga enhances calmness, improves your concentration, boosts immunity and provides flexibility and agility. It also enhances eye-hand coordination, balances hormones and increases energy.
Verdict Yoga. The gym takes care of the cardio but yoga works for mental and physical well being.
if you have health issues
Gym This usually consists of vigorous workouts and can sometimes be harmful for people suffering from heart problems or other serious ailments. Also, working out at a gym is not recommended for young boys and girls. Over-training or not exercising properly may cause injuries, sore muscles and lower resistance to illnesses such as coughs and colds. But Rupesh explains, “Weight training is good for people who suffer from osteoporosis.”
Yoga Yoga has something for everyone. It has lots of benefits and can even help people with serious health issues.
Verdict Yoga. Too much time spent at the gym can cause fatigue and make you feel exhausted. On the other hand, yoga energises and refreshes you.
Building up metabolism
Gym “Weight training can increase your lean body mass and therefore increase your metabolism,” says Rupesh.
Yoga Yoga has exercises that work for your nervous system and balance your hormones.
Verdict Yoga. Along with metabolism it also balances your hormones.
Curing health problems
Gym Cardio training helps lower cholesterol which lessens the chances of heart disease. It also prevents osteoporosis but can’t do much for other diseases.
Yoga Yoga can help cure almost anything. Correct breathing exercises help cure asthma, bronchitis, and hypertension. Certain stretches can cure a backache, neck pain and frozen shoulder. There are certain exercises that can cure heart diseases and even diabetes. It also helps in blood circulation and can help acne and pimples.
Verdict Yoga. It is said yoga has a cure for every disease!
Gym Gym works great on your body but doesn’t do much for your mind.
Yoga Yoga works on the five aspects — mental, physical, spiritual, emotional and intellectual. Verdict Yoga. There’s nothing better than yoga for mental health, calmness and concentration or any other mental issues.
Sonal and Rupesh agree that yoga and the gym are equally important and to stay fit mentally and physically one must practice both. Most gyms offer meditation programs and basic stretching before starting weight training and cardio. So while selecting a gym, choose the one which includes yoga at least thrice a week.
Yoga is better for overall health
“While gym workouts are good for quick weight loss and bulking up, yoga can help with overall mental and physical health.”
Sonal Ahuja, Yoga Instructor, Clay
Gym workouts burn calories a lot faster
“Weight training and cardio helps burn 100% fat from the body, but requires a strict diet along with vigorous workouts. Losing weight is 70% diet and 30% working out.”
Rupesh Pujari, Instructor, PowerHouse Gym
gym vs yoga: kareena picks yoga!
“I prefer yoga any day. From my personal experience I can say it has cured a lot of physical and internal problems. It has also made me flexible.”
“I work out at the gym sometimes but I prefer yoga, because it relaxes my mind. In these stressful times, working out at the gym is like body beating for me and yoga has also helped me tone up.”
“I prefer yoga a hundred times over working out in a gym! Working out in an AC room is not good, believe me. It does not help you in any way. So don’t work out in gyms with the AC on. I do 50 Suryanamaskas a day.”