Yoga vs Running: Which One is Better for Your Health and Fitness Goals?

Benefits of Running and Yoga:

Running and yoga are two of the most popular exercises in the world today. They both offer multiple physical and mental benefits. Let’s take a closer look at the advantages of practicing these activities.

1. Yogaworks on multiple aspects of the body including fat burning, relaxing, and getting your heart rate up.

One of the main benefits of yoga is that it is a low-impact exercise that offers numerous physical benefits. These include increased flexibility, weight loss, and muscle strength. Yoga also helps reduce stress and anxiety, which can have a positive impact on mental health.

2. Both running and Yoga assist in respiratory control, concentration, endurance, heart rate control, building bones and muscles, and increasing mental fitness, focus, and endurance.

Running is an excellent cardiovascular exercise that can improve your endurance and lung capacity. It also helps build strong bones and muscles, improves mental fitness, focus, and concentration. Running can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

3. Yoga provides a total-body workout, improves flexibility, and promotes mental clarity. It also helps alleviate pain and regulate blood pressure.

Yoga is an excellent way to increase flexibility, build muscle strength, and improve posture. It also helps promote mental clarity and concentration. Practicing yoga can help reduce joint and muscle pain and help regulate blood pressure.

4. Adding both exercises to your routine can provide a range of benefits to overall health and fitness.

If you are looking for a way to improve your health and fitness, incorporating both running and yoga into your routine can provide a range of physical and mental benefits. Both exercises complement each other and can support each other’s advantages.

5. Joining a free 7-day beginner’s yoga for men challenge can help improve flexibility, strength, and overall wellness.

If you are new to yoga or just looking for a way to improve your practice, joining a yoga challenge can be an excellent way to get started. Many yoga studios offer free challenges that can help beginners improve their flexibility, strength, and overall wellness.

6. It has mental and stress-reducing benefits, in addition to strengthening and improving flexibility.

Both running and yoga have significant benefits for mental health and can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Practicing these exercises regularly can contribute to overall improved mental and physical well-being.

Differences between Running and Yoga:

Running and yoga are two popular forms of exercise that have their own unique benefits. Here are the differences between the two:

ImpactHigh-impact, can be hard on the bodyLow-impact, kinder on the joints
Calorie BurnBurns more calories per unit of timeProvides long-term benefits
Strength and FlexibilityMore efficient in enhancing strength and flexibilityEnhances strength and flexibility in a more gentle way
Difficulty LevelJogging is considered easier than yogaCan be challenging for beginners, but modifications can be made to suit individual needs
Weight Loss BenefitsMore effective for quicker weight lossOffers a consistent approach with long-term benefits


Running can be hard on the body due to the high-impact nature of the exercise. The repetitive impact can cause injury, particularly if you have existing issues with your joints or bones. On the other hand, yoga is a low-impact form of exercise, which makes it gentler on the joints. It can be especially helpful for those with arthritis or other joint problems.

Calorie Burn

Running burns more calories per unit of time than traditional yoga. This makes it more effective for quick weight loss. However, traditional yoga provides long-term benefits that can help with overall health and wellness.

Strength and Flexibility

Running is more efficient in enhancing strength and flexibility compared to yoga. However, yoga enhances strength and flexibility in a more gentle way. It can help to improve your posture, balance, and coordination.

Difficulty Level

Jogging is considered easier than yoga because it does not require any special skills to get started. Yoga can be challenging for beginners, but modifications can be made to suit individual needs. It is also important to find the right type of yoga for your fitness level.

Weight Loss Benefits

Running is more effective for quicker weight loss. It burns more calories per unit of time, which can help you to lose weight faster. However, yoga offers a consistent approach with long-term benefits. It can help to reduce stress, improve mental clarity, and achieve overall better health.

Ultimately, the choice between running and yoga depends on individual preference and fitness goals. Both forms of exercise have their own unique benefits and can be enjoyed by people of all fitness levels.

Comparing running and yoga for weight loss:

If you are looking to lose weight, you may be considering running or yoga. While both forms of exercise have their benefits, it’s important to know which one will help you achieve your weight loss goals most effectively. Here are some facts to help you compare running and yoga for weight loss:

Calories burned per unit of timeMoreLess
Long term benefitN/AYes
Assistance in weight lossEffective for quicker resultsAssists at a slower rate
Comparison to cardioBurns more calories per workout but may not lead to sustainable weight lossCan be as effective for weight loss as cycling, swimming, and brisk walking according to the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology

So what does all of this mean? Running is going to burn more calories per unit of time as well as provide quicker results in weight loss. However, yoga has been shown to provide long term benefits and can be just as effective for weight loss as other forms of cardio.

If you decide to pursue yoga for weight loss, it’s important to note that not all types of yoga are created equal. Traditional yoga may not provide the same calorie-burning benefits as hot yoga, which has been shown to help individuals lose weight similarly to running.

If you are new to yoga and looking to use it as a tool for weight loss, a recommended yoga routine includes santolansana, chaturanga dandasana, upward dog, downward dog, and padahasthasana. These poses engage your muscles and can help increase your heart rate, resulting in a calorie-burning workout.

Ultimately, the effectiveness of running vs. yoga for weight loss will depend on your personal preferences and fitness goals. It’s important to find an exercise routine that is sustainable and enjoyable for you in order to achieve long lasting results.

Breathing techniques in running and yoga:

When it comes to breathing techniques, both running and yoga have their own unique approaches. Let’s take a closer look at how each discipline approaches breathing:

Running necessitates quick breathing to bring in more oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the body.Yoga teaches slow breathing techniques, where breaths can be taken more deeply and mindfully.
Deep inhalations and exhalations are important in running, especially during intense training or races.Breath control is a key aspect of yoga practice, where individuals learn to regulate their breaths and even hold them temporarily.
Both running and yoga emphasize the importance of breathing in improving endurance and strengthening muscles.The slow breathing techniques taught in yoga can also help runners during long-distance races or hard runs.

Runners sometimes have a one-track mind when it comes to fitness. They focus on pounding the pavement and building endurance through running. However, incorporating other forms of exercise, such as yoga and strength training, can greatly benefit runners.

The Benefits of Yoga and Strength Training for Runners

  • Yoga can increase flexibility, improve balance, and enhance mental focus, which are all essential for optimal running performance.
  • Strength training can correct muscle imbalances, prevent injuries, and boost overall endurance for longer runs.

It’s important to note that not all yoga is the same. Some forms of yoga prioritize flexibility, while others focus on building strength. For runners, it’s beneficial to mix up their yoga practice by trying different styles that cater to their specific needs. For example, power yoga or Ashtanga yoga can aid in building strength, while restorative yoga and Yin yoga can be beneficial for active recovery and improving flexibility.

Yoga for Active Recovery and Mindfulness

Runners understand the importance of active recovery in their training regimen. Yoga can play a vital role in recovery and prevention of injuries. Yoga practice can aid in reducing soreness and tension in the body after a run, which means less downtime for recovery.

Moreover, yogic breathing and mindfulness techniques can help runners be more in tune with their body and prevent burnout. Stress is also a common factor for runners, and yoga can help reduce stress levels and improve sleep, which enhances overall recovery.

Strength Training for Building Endurance and Injury Prevention

Strength training is a key component of any well-rounded fitness program, especially for runners. Running requires not only cardiovascular endurance but also great muscular strength and stability.

Strength training can help prevent common injuries related to running, such as IT band syndrome and knee pain. The increased muscle mass and strength from strength training can also contribute to better running form and overall endurance.

Incorporating Yoga and Strength Training into a Running Routine

Runners can begin by adding yoga and strength training to their routine at least once a week. Once they get comfortable with the practice, then they can increase the frequency of their workouts. It’s important to prioritize rest and recovery time as well.

Examples of Yoga for RunnersExamples of Strength Training for Runners
Power yoga
Ashtanga yoga
Restorative yoga
Yin yoga
Bodyweight exercises
Plyometric exercises

It’s essential to customize the workouts according to individual needs and fitness levels. Runners can also consider seeking help from a yoga or strength training professional to develop a customized program. With patience and consistency, incorporating yoga and strength training into a running routine can maximize overall performance and reduce the risk of injuries.

Consistency and personal preferences are crucial when it comes to determining the best exercise for weight loss and overall fitness. Whether it’s running or yoga, both can be practiced together to achieve optimal results.

Yoga for runners is designed to complement running and enhance performance, so it’s important to schedule yoga sessions based on one’s individual training needs and to focus on consistency and personal enjoyment.

When practicing intense yoga poses, it is essential to do it under supervision and with caution, especially if one has any medical conditions.

Works the cardiovascular system and primarily focuses on building enduranceImproves flexibility, strength, balance, and mindfulness
Calorie burn varies depending on the intensity and duration of the workoutCalorie burn depends on the type of yoga and duration of the session
Causes impact on joints and bones, which increases the risk of injuryLow-impact workout that doesn’t put stress on joints or bones
Can be done anywhere with no equipment requiredRequires minimal equipment, and sessions can be tailored to suit individual preferences

Running and yoga offer various benefits to the body, but both have their strengths and weaknesses. Running focuses on building endurance and working the cardiovascular system, while yoga enhances flexibility, strength, balance, and mindfulness.

Calorie burn varies depending on the intensity and duration of the workout. Running has the potential to burn more calories than yoga due to the higher intensity, but this is not always the case. The number of calories burned during yoga depends on the type of yoga and the duration of the session.

Running can cause impacts on joints and bones, which increases the risk of injury. In contrast, yoga is a low-impact workout that doesn’t put stress on joints or bones. Therefore, it’s particularly beneficial for people who are injured and those with joint problems.

Running can be done anywhere, and it requires no equipment. Yoga requires minimal equipment, and sessions can be tailored to suit individual preferences.

Ultimately, the best exercise for weight loss and overall fitness depends on individual preferences and goals. If running is what you enjoy, then run, but complement it with yoga to reduce the risk of injury and enhance performance. If yoga is your thing, then stick to it but find ways to incorporate other forms of exercise to build endurance and work the cardiovascular system.

It’s essential to listen to your body and practice caution when doing intense yoga poses, particularly if one has any medical conditions.

Other Cardio Exercises for Weight Loss

If you’re not a fan of running, or if you’re looking to mix up your cardio routine, there are plenty of other exercises that can help you lose weight and build endurance. Here are some options to consider:

JoggingJogging is a great cardio exercise that can help you burn calories and improve your overall fitness. It’s a low-impact activity that’s easy to do anywhere, and it’s particularly effective for weight loss when combined with a healthy diet.
Cardio YogaCardio yoga, also known as power yoga, is a type of yoga that incorporates more vigorous movements and faster-paced sequences. It can be a great way to get the benefits of both cardio and yoga workouts in one, and it’s particularly effective for building strength, flexibility, and balance while burning calories.
DanceIf you enjoy dancing, it can be a great cardio workout that’s both fun and effective. There are a variety of dance styles to choose from, including Zumba, hip-hop, and ballroom dancing.
TabataTabata is a type of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that involves alternating between short bursts of intense activity and brief periods of rest. It’s an extremely effective way to burn calories and improve your fitness in a short amount of time.
PilatesPilates is a low-impact, full-body workout that can help you build strength, improve flexibility, and tone your muscles. While it’s not typically considered a cardio exercise, it can still help you burn calories and improve your overall fitness when done regularly.

It’s worth noting that while exercise is important for weight loss and overall health, it’s only one piece of the puzzle. A proper diet that’s high in nutrient-rich foods and low in processed junk food is crucial for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. In fact, research has shown that diet plays a much larger role in weight loss than exercise, with as little as 30% of weight loss depending on exercise.

So if you’re looking to lose weight and improve your health, focus on making sustainable changes to your diet and incorporating regular exercise, whether that’s running, yoga, or another form of cardio. With time and consistency, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your goals!

About The Author

Scroll to Top