Better Workout: Yoga Or Gym?

Posted at 4:04 PM, Aug 04, 2015

SAN ANTONIO. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - Get a regular at the gym and one from a yoga class to compare their workouts and fireworks may break out. Researchers put the question of which workout is best to the test and the result may surprise you.

Yoga involves stretching, balance and core strength. The gym requires pounding the treadmill, pushing up the heartrate. Which one gets you the biggest bang for your health buck? A clinical study tried to find out.

Assistant professor and clinical exercise physiologist, Dr. Daniel Hughes, from the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas led the study. Some people did yoga, others did gym workouts and a third group was just asked to be active in some way consistently.

“What we asked all three groups to do was to do an hour at a time, and three hours per week,” said Dr. Hughes.

Hughes said he thought his gym workout would be the winner, but yoga therapist Nydia Tijerina-Darby thought her yoga program would win.

“I would have been right in there putting major bucks on the yoga,” she said.

The result surprised everyone.

“All three arms were just as effective in terms of body fat, fitness and physical function,” Hughes explained.

Study participant Michelle Hart was surprised by the results.

“I think I was expecting that one would be stronger than the other, and probably thinking that yoga would be the end all be all,” Hart said.

Cindy Schmelz, who hit the gym during the study, wasn’t so surprised.

“I think that as long as you have an activity that you’re going to stay regular with, it’s probably beneficial,” Schmelz said.

About three hours a week of whatever gets you moving is key.

“You can just go out and be active, 10 minutes at a time, but for heaven’s sake, find something you enjoy and lock in and do it and if you don’t enjoy it, experiment until you find what you do,” said Hughes.

All the participants in the study lost the same amount of body fat, about four percent. Researchers said there was one small benefit the yoga group had over the others – they performed better stretching and reaching.