Credit: © Milan / Fotolia

Credit: © Milan / Fotolia

Can yoga burn fat and increase muscle?

Can yoga burn fat and increase muscle? Let’s take a look at what University of Connecticut researchers uncovered in their new study.

Yoga is an ancient Indian practice that spans across many millenniums. It is great to strengthen the body and relax the mind, but that is only scratching the surface of what yoga truly is about.

The real purpose of yoga is to create harmony between the body, mind and breath with breathing exercise, yoga poses, and meditation.

The new study showed for the first time that yoga can help us convert dietary protein into muscle.

Nancy Rodriguez, Ph.D., R.D, the lead author of the study explained the research teams intentions: “Weight-bearing exercise is important as we age. The purpose of this study was to look at yoga as an alternative form of exercise for maintaining muscle mass with aging.”

Prof. Rodriguez added: “The body turns over protein all the time. Studies show that exercise increases protein synthesis. Therefore, higher protein intake, combined with routine yoga practice, should contribute by offsetting muscle losses while enhancing the body’s ability to build muscle.”

The team found that in the study, those who did yoga had less body fat and more muscle mass.

They also found that the yoga group burned more fat while at rest, which means a higher metabolism rate.

Prof. Rodriguez concluded: “The physical benefits of yoga — strength, flexibility, and reduced body fat, as well as improved health outcomes — are like icing on the cake. The mind/body aspect of yoga contributes to the sustainability of the practice, and that will allow people to maintain it.”

So can yoga burn fat and increase muscle? Based on the compelling new research, it does.

If you want to know how to get started, take a look at our article showing you some simple yoga poses to help you lose weight.

Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only.

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1. “Routine Yoga Practice Impacts Whole Body Protein Utilization in Healthy Women.” Journal of Aging and Physical Activity.U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 16 July 2017.

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