Yoga ISN’T a big calorie burner. While doing yoga does improve flexibility and strength, it’s not much of an aerobic activity, according to an ACE study: a 50-minute power yoga session burns 237 calories, versus the 500 to 600 calories you’d fry spinning for that amount of time.
Stretching helps your body recover faster. Keep doing it if it feels good to you, but a recent University of Milan study on the effects of post workout recovery methods found no significant changes in blood lactate levels (a measure of how fatigued your muscles are) in people who stretch after exercise. While stretching may not completely reduce muscle soreness or speed muscle tissue repair, limbering up still has certain benefits. Doing it right after a workout, when the body is still warm, is the best way to increase joint flexibility. The increased flexibility can then make some exercises easier to perform when you are next training.
Skipping sleep CAN cause weight gain. Women in an American Journal of Epidemiology study who slept less than seven hours were more likely to gain weight; other research has shown that even partial sleep deprivation ups production of the hormone ghrelin, which triggers hunger.
More gym time is better. Scheduling in rest days is crucial. Your body needs to recover, especially after a tough session. If you work out every single day, you could injure yourself or overtrain, which keeps your muscles from rebounding and your body from improving. That’s true even if you’re just a casual gym goer. So be sure to take regular breaks, whether it’s every other day (if you’re a beginner) or once a week (for the advanced). And keep your workout varied! If you don’t mix things up, doing the same training pattern can lead to injuries.
By Alex McVeigh