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Yoga VS Gym: Meaning & Benefits

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 29/12/2023
  • 2 min read

With countless self-proclaimed health gurus advising individuals about what is good for their health on social media platforms, it is easy to feel overwhelmed.

As individuals commit to improving their health as the new year rolls in, the most common debate is choosing between a gym membership or yoga classes.

If you are among the many who have found themselves contemplating yoga vs exercise in the gym, then it is a good idea to explore the differences and benefits of each so you can develop a fitness routine that is tailored to your needs.

Let’s attempt to settle the age-old debate between yoga vs gym.

What is Yoga?

Although yoga in the current age has been reduced to physical exercise (as more and more people compare yoga vs gym for belly fat reduction), it is essentially a spiritual discipline.

The objective of yoga is to harmonise one’s mind and body for holistic wellness. The term yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word: “Yuj,” meaning to join or unite. The yogic scriptures believe that the practice of yoga unites individual consciousness with universal consciousness - indicating perfect harmony between mind and body, man and nature.

As yoga emerged from a meditation practice, it requires discipline and dedication to perfect.

As an ancient Indian practice, yoga fitness focuses on the overall health of an individual by effectively combining physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. As individuals practise yoga, they quickly realise that it goes beyond mastering physical positions, with the asanas offering numerous benefits.

In terms of physical health, practising yoga can help you build muscles and improve functional fitness while boosting flexibility and strength. Although the exercise primarily focuses on perfecting the asanas externally, it comprises several forms and variations that focus on bettering your health from the inside out.

What is Gym Training?

In the modern day and age, it is believed that if you can do one thing to improve your health, then you must turn to strength training. In gymming, strength training refers to employing one or more muscle groups to perform a specific task, such as squatting or lifting weights.

Thanks to a growing body of evidence supporting its benefits, strength training has become an essential part of most gym workout routines. In gym lingo, strength training also involves weight training, resistance training, and muscular training.

In addition to strength training, fitness programs in the gym have a great advantage: they can be tailored to meet specific fitness goals of an individual.

Depending on individual goals, different people in the gym will have different exercises, rep counts, set numbers, and strategies as part of their workout plan. Some swear by weight routines, while others prefer flexibility and bodyweight training.

However, most trainers and professionals will agree that certain essential exercises are important for strengthening the body and should be done by every individual who wishes to become healthy.

Now that we have explored the difference between yoga and gym in terms of their meaning let us now dive into understanding their distinctive impact on your health.

Difference Between Yoga and Gym for Your Health

If you are wondering about yoga vs gym - which is better for your health, then you must realise that each has a different purpose and the choice between the two depends heavily on your health goals.

Here is a look at yoga vs gym health benefits:

Health Benefits of Yoga:

Flexibility is an important aspect of health, and yoga is especially helpful for enhancing flexibility.

Yoga helps improve your balance, which is an important aspect not only during exercises but also as part of your routine.

Yoga helps in alleviating stress.

Movement-based yoga therapies and breathing exercises can greatly improve depressive symptoms. It is also considered to be an effective alternative treatment for anxiety disorders.

May reduce inflammation by reducing the biochemical markers of inflammation in various chronic conditions.

When performed with consistency, it can be an effective strength-building exercise.

Can help boost immunity by reducing the negative effects of chronic stress.

Pranayama (breathing exercises) can mightily improve cardiovascular functioning.

The mental calming and stress relief achieved from practising yoga can greatly improve one’s sleep.

Yoga can improve your posture, which is an important aspect of our routines as we spend a lot of time hunched behind devices.

Practising yoga activates areas of the brain responsible for motivation, executive functioning, and attention, highlighting how it improves brain functioning.

Health Benefits of Gymming:

In addition to improving your overall cardiac function, doing cardiovascular exercises in the gym can help boost your energy.

For those who contemplate yoga vs gym for weight loss, the latter is known to help manage weight.

With regular exercise in the gym, one can prevent several severe health conditions such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, depression, arthritis, stroke, etc.

By stimulating the brain chemicals, gymming can help improve your mood.

If you are struggling to sleep, gymming can help you fall asleep faster, get better sleep, and deepen your sleep. However, don’t exercise too close to bedtime, or you will be too energised to hit the sack.

Regular physical activity can improve energy levels and help you improve your sex life.

Exercising in the gym can also be a fun way of socialising while journeying towards better health.

Strength training in the gym can help you build your muscles, stimulate bone growth, lower blood sugar, assist with weight control, improve balance and posture, and reduce stress and pain in the lower back and joints.

Comparative Analysis: Yoga vs Gym - Which is Better?

When comparing the health benefits of yoga vs exercise in the gym, one realises that while both fitness regimes intend to build and maintain health, they have their distinct features and different methodologies to attain this goal.

Let’s see the key difference between yoga vs workout in the gym:

Yoga Gym
Practising yoga keeps an individual energetic and fresh throughout the day  Gymming on the other hand will keep an individual healthy and stiff 
You feel less tired after yoga You can feel exhausted after a workout session in the gym 
You can continue to practise yoga even when you are travelling Since gymming requires proper equipment, you cannot work out while travelling 
There are minimal chances of withdrawal effects if you discontinue your practise  Relatively greater chances of withdrawal effects - including body pain and muscle soreness - after discontinuation 
As an ancient Indian practise, yoga can be performed by people of all ages Aged people and individuals suffering from heart ailments and hypertension are advised not to gym
You may need the assistance of a trained professional in the beginning (you can also opt for learning the asanas online)  For targeted fitness and bodybuilding, one needs the constant assistance of a gym trainer
Yoga is a cost-effective solution - one only needs a yoga mat to start with their practise  Since it necessitates a gym facility and a trainer, gym memberships can be quite expensive
As yoga fitness is about gradual growth, younger individuals may find the exercise boring The faster effects of the gym and the social setup may engage youngsters better 

Wrapping Up

Yoga vs workout in the gym has been a heated debate among health enthusiasts, however, when contemplating, it is important to remember that the goal is to get some exercise to keep your body healthy. Ideally, an exercise routine must include strengthening, stretching, balance, and aerobic exercises to keep one in perfect health.

However, one can choose exercises depending on what they enjoy most and what are their fitness goals.

In addition to taking care of your health, it is also important to safeguard your health from unforeseeable ailments with a comprehensive health insurance plan.

Your medical insurance takes care of your medical expenses when you are in a vulnerable condition and need professional medical assistance to get better - all without denting your savings.

Additionally, with the cashless health insurance option, one can avail of quality healthcare without worrying about reimbursement as the bills are settled between the hospital and your insurance provider.

However, with numerous health insurance plans to choose from, insurance seekers must carefully analyse their healthcare needs and compare different policies to choose the perfect coverage.

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