Gym Or Yoga - Take Your Pick

Going to gym is a fad. The whole world is catching up with it. By 2020, at least a fourth of the population in the western world will be obese. So what can we do?

Join a gym- as some friends will say. Yoga is good for health too. So is Tai-chi. That can make anyone confused. What is the best option?

Let us have a quick look at what each of these exercises have to offer.

Doing anaerobic exercises in a gym involves a lot muscular activity. The body's metabolic activities are increased. This results in burning of extra fat. The tone of the muscles becomes better. After sometime, the body's need for food also increases. This results in the person eating more food, not less. This is a natural occurrence. So the body goes into a habit of eating more and burning more food by increasing the body's metabolism. The gym work out causes the nervous system to overwork as if the body is in a state of danger. This is the principle behind gym exercises.

Yoga or Tai-chi are slow exercises. The emphasis in them is on slowness, on calmness and on breath control. The heart rate slows down. The metabolic activity slows down. This relaxes the body and the mind. When this happens, the mind goes into repair mode. The body's natural defences kick in. Because there is no danger perceived by the body, the body's metabolic activity reduces. The body needs less food to survive. So the food intake reduces. The accumulated fat, in an obese person, reduces slowly. But the body gets rid of excess fat anyway because its intake of food reduces and the body uses up the stored food to survive. The immune system of the body becomes stronger with yoga and tai-chi.

Whatever mode of body fitness you chose, moderation is the key. Doing exercises in the gym for an hour a day could be doing more harm than good. Even research suggests that twenty minutes of gym work three times a week is enough for optimum fitness.

Pradeep Chadha

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