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Yoga, Yoga Class, Spirituality. There is fantastic news for those who practice yoga and worry about whether they are getting enough cardio exercise. According to the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, yoga may be just as beneficial as cycling, swimming, and brisk walking for reducing your risk factors for heart disease. Studies show that movement-based yoga practices like vinyasa, hatha, and lyengar reduced risk factors including body weight, high blood pressure, body mass index, and cholesterol. Each form of exercise has its own pros and cons and should be chosen based on your fitness goals and DNA. Here is a look at yoga versus cardio and a comparison of the two to help you decide which you think may be best for you. Fat Loss Fat loss occurs when more calories are burned rather than consumed. Cardio exercise burns about 600 calories per hour, depending on your rate of movement. This can be on an elliptical machine for example. A moderately-intensive yoga class, such as ashtanga yoga, burns approximately 350 calories. However, the whole story is not in the calories burned. Lean muscle gain from yoga helps in slightly improving basal metabolic rate. Nevertheless, when you engage in cardio exercise five days a week for an hour, you can burn off more pounds more than yoga under the same circumstances. This shows that when it comes to fat loss, cardio is the winner. If you really want to burn some calories. Play 3 on 3 basketball for about an hour – that will burn some calories. Strength and Endurance Although cardio exercise promotes endurance – being able to sustain an activity for an increased amount of time – it does quite little to boost strength. Strength is increased when the demands put on a muscle go beyond its ability and adaptation is forced. A study in 2011 followed a group of 79 male and female participants who practiced sun salutations six days a week for 24 weeks. The study found that strength and endurance increased significantly among both men and women whose bench press one rep-maximum went up by 15 and 6 pounds, respectively. Yoga is the clear winner here. Changes in Mental Outlook With both yoga and cardio exercise, you gain sustained changes in mental outlook immediately, including improved self-esteem, reduced depression and anxiety, and a greater overall sense of well-being. Some of the changes that are seen with both yoga and cardio exercise can be attributed to improvements in the composition of the body. However, according to a 2010 study, it was found that those who do cardio workouts experience an improvement in mood immediately and for 12 hours thereafter, which suggests that exercise itself plays an important role in improving mental outlook. In other words, yoga and cardio tie when it comes to improving mental outlook. There is no doubt that both yoga and cardio can do a world of good. Apart from weight loss, they come with a number of health benefits.