Swimming vs yoga? You may be wondering what the differences are – if you don’t have time for both, we’ll give you the lo-down to help you choose which one is the right one for you!
Exercise is a great form of self-care, even though at times it may seem daunting or impossible to schedule the time to work out. Exercise maintains various body systems while keeping us energized, balanced and stress-free. Whether or not you’re a runner, hiker or biker, you should consider adding swimming and yoga into your daily routine (or at least try to!).
Swimming Vs Yoga at A Glance
Swimming Vs Yoga: Swimming
Who doesn’t love jumping into a pool on a hot summer’s day? This fun and relaxing activity can do so much for you, whether you’re looking to relieve some pain or looking to lose some weight. If you’re seeking to get fit by swimming check out this article for tips on exercises you can do in the pool. You might want to consider continuing to swim even after the summer is over as it’s a great way to stay active in the winter!
Physical Health Benefits of Swimming
- Improves cardiovascular health
- Tones muscle and builds strength
- Uses nearly every muscle in your body
- Builds endurance
- Increases ability to take in and effectively use oxygen
- Increases lung capacity 0.929% more than yoga does (Gupta & Sawane)
- Low impact on joints and bones
- High-intensity swimming burns a lot of calories fast
- Regulates cholesterol levels
- Swimming can relieve aches and pains and is sometimes prescribed for back pain
- Reduces or eliminates insomnia
- Mitigates physical problems induced by stress such as: Back or neck pain, Sleep disruption, Headaches, Inability to concentrate, IBS/constipation
The study, titled, “A Comparative Study of the Effects of Yoga and Swimming on Pulmonary Functions in Sedentary Subjects” by Shilpa Gupta and Manish Sawane explained that the effects of swimming on lung capacity are greater than those of yoga because swimming strengthens the thoracic and abdominal muscles, posture and elasticity of lungs in a unique way. Unlike other sports, swimmers are horizontal compared to the vertical position in other sports. This horizontal position constantly exercises a bundle of muscles and tendons called erector spinae. It is the exercise of these muscles and tendons that result in greater lung capacity.
Mental Health Benefits of Swimming
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Great for prenatal health, reduces the risk of postpartum depression
- Is meditative
- Increases concentration
If you’d like to read more about the science behind how swimming improves mental health click here!
Swimming Vs Yoga: Yoga
When you think about yoga what do you envision? Do you picture yourself at peace, tranquil and relaxed or sweating, quivering and struggling? If it’s the latter don’t let yourself get discouraged. It comes down to choosing the right style of yoga for you as different styles of yoga are best for different people. It also takes time and practice. Here’s why you should incorporate yoga, supplementary to swimming fitness or even on its own.
Physical Health Benefits of Yoga
- Improves flexibility
- Increases stamina, endurance and balance
- Improves strength and increases muscle tone
- Improves lung capacity
- Provides protection from injury
- Great for circulation
- Perfects posture and protects spine by keeping the disks active
- Benefits lymphatic system by draining lymph nodes and boosting the immune system
- Lowers blood pressure and blood sugar
- Regulate adrenal gland
- Mitigates physical problems induced by stress such as: Back or neck pain, Sleep disruption, Headaches, Inability to concentrate, IBS/constipation.
Mental Health Benefits of Yoga
- Manages stress
- Increases body awareness
- Creates mental clarity and calmness
- Harmonizes the body and mind
The Most Popular Types of Yoga
Currently, there are four popular types of yoga for beginner and advanced yogis alike. If you’re looking to get into yoga check out which of the four could be the right fit for you. Of course, there more than four styles – a lot more. If the following don’t sound appealing check out the article and chart below this list:
Is good for beginners as it is slow paced stretching with plenty of breathing exercises, learn poses and how to maintain them while breathing.
Kundalini steps up the intensity, it is performed rapidly and repetitively with more of a concentration on breathing; different poses require specific breathing patterns. Kundalini tests your mental discipline as much as your physical discipline.
Ashtanga is more challenging, it is characterized by six sequences. Each sequence focuses on different aspects. The first sequence might consist of 75 poses that focus on strength, stamina and flexibility.
Hot & Bikram Yoga
Hot yoga is practiced in a sauna-like environment. The room is heated to 40 degrees Celsius (approx. 95-100 degrees Fahrenheit) with a humidity index of 40%. The heat stimulates fat burning while loosening the muscles for increased flexibility. The poses flow into each other. So, be ready to sweat!
Bikram yoga is a sub-type of hot yoga. Bikram yoga has 26 postures and two breathing exercises that are executed in a hot room.
There are so many different types of yoga available, it’s almost overwhelming when it comes down to choosing the right type of yoga for yourself. Try this yoga chart from YogaTrail.com to see if you can pinpoint which style of yoga is the best fit for you!
As you can see, yoga has a plethora of benefits, both physical and mental. If you want to learn about the different types of yoga, their differences and unique benefits check out this article from DailyBurn.com.
Swimming Vs Yoga…
Both swimming and yoga offer amazing physical and mental health benefits. So, swimming vs yoga, it doesn’t matter! You can do both or just choose the one that best suits your needs. Hopefully, this article shed some light on this topic and answered the question, “swimming or yoga?”.