With the modern sedentary lifestyle & unhealthy food habits, the world is heading towards a community of obese people. The extra weight put on by the unnecessary fat accumulated in our bodies not only makes us look disproportionate but is also an invitation to many deadly diseases. But, don’t worry, as there is a ray of hope at the end of the tunnel. A combination of change in diet, a good exercise routine, including highly effective exercises like Surya Namaskar & a clear commitment towards our health, can easily reverse this process and make you slim & healthy once again. Using Surya Namaskar for weight loss is a great option to consider for getting the results fast in the shortest time span. Further in this article, we will discuss the mechanism behind this claim and tell you How to use Surya Namaskar for Weight Loss effectively.
The severity of the problem of obesity
Obesity in adults is defined as a body mass index (BMI) greater than or equal to 30, and severe obesity as a BMI greater than or equal to 40.
The BMI is calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared, rounded to one decimal place.
As per a Fact-sheet published by WHO, obesity has nearly tripled since 1975. In 2016, 39% of the world’s adult population was found to be overweight, and this no has gone up to 42.4% in 2017-18 as reported by CDC. Severe obesity can cause many health-related problems, including cardiovascular diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, and even some deadly types of cancers.
It’s never too late to start working towards a better health condition. If you are overweight, you need to apply these three approaches to get fit & healthy in no time :
- Limit the energy intake
- Eat a lot of fiber-containing fresh food
- Exercise regularly
All three of the points mentioned above bears the same importance in shedding the extra fat, but today we are going to discuss the last one of them, i.e., Exercising regularly.
The logic behind exercising is to burn the extra calories that might get stored as fat in the body. Your calorie intake needs to be consistently lower than the calories you burnout during the day to lose weight. And there is no exercise better than Surya Namaskar to burn the extra calories.
Surya Namaskar compared to other forms of exercises
Any form of exercise that burns more calories than the intake is bound to reduce your weight after some time ultimately. Research shows that when compared with circuit training & treadmill running, Surya Namaskar gives almost the same results, if not more, when judged only for weight loss criteria.
Moreover, Sun Salutation is far better in its psychological & spiritual benefits among these other exercises. Except that it also increases the flexibility of your body almost immediately and is scientifically proven in a research paper published in the International Journal of Health Sciences and Research in 2019.
But at the end of the day, it comes down to the calorie count burned by the exercise. To get a much clearer perspective, let’s overview the calorie-burning meter of different sports & activities in a 30-minute time frame.
For a healthy individual with a normal BMI, One round of Surya Namaskar can burn up to 13.90 calories. All you need to do is calculate your calorie intake every day and try to surpass them by using exercise as a tool. You can start by doing 2-5 rounds of Surya namaskar & gradually increase the pace & the number of sets. But always keep in mind that you should never compromise over your form to increase the repetitions.
How much weight can you lose by practicing Surya Namaskar
One pound of body fat is equivalent to about 3500 calories. So, if your target is to lose a pound of fat every week, then you would need to burn about 300 to 400 calories every day on average. It means that you need to burn all the calories of food you eat during the day plus the 400 extra calories of the body fat already stored under your skin.
Now, if we consider the practice of Surya Namaskar, in that case, one complete round of Surya Namaskar burns an approx of 13.91 calories. An expert practitioner can complete the 108 rounds of Sun salutation somewhere between 50-60 minutes with total energy burnt during this time equivalent to more than 1500 calories.
So, even if you reach the number around 20-25 sets of Sun Salutation, we can achieve your target goal of reducing 1 pound of extra fat every week.
Expert Tips for shredding extra weight much faster by Surya Namaskar
Here are some expert tips to lose the excess body fat more quickly & effectively by Sun Salutation:
1. Go for the faster version of sun salutation if your only goal is to lose weight
The Fast version of Surya Namaskar is a fantastic cardiovascular exercise that helps us to lose more weight in a lower time more effectively.
2. Practice when your body is in a catabolic state
When you wake up in the morning, your body remains in the catabolic state before you eat anything. It simply means that the body doesn’t have any food to generate energy for its requirements. Instead, it uses its fat reserves for any bodily function. Thus, if you put your body under stress by any physical exercise, it will burn more body fat than any other time of the day.
3. Drink warm water & stay hydrated
Drinking a glass of warm water after waking up hydrates the body and gives a kick start to the internal system. It is advised to drink plenty of water 30 minutes before Surya namaskar to avoid dehydration during the exercise & keeping the fat-burning potential of the body to the maximum.
4. Breadth deeply through your nose & into the lungs.
Breathing deeply in the correct sequence during Surya Namaskar helps increase blood circulation & the rate of oxygen diffusion in it. An improved flow of oxygen-enriched blood in all body parts elevates the mobilization of fat molecules and ultimately helps in weight loss.
5. More sets burn More calories
It is a no-brainer that more physical activity burns more calories. So, more rounds of Sun Salutation implies more killed calories and a leaner & healthier you.
6. Warmup beforehand or take a walk
Warming up your joints or taking a brisk walk during the morning before Surya Namaskar refreshes your mind and gets the body ready for exercise. It also helps in preventing any injury and adds some more numbers to burnt calories.
7. Include some more weight loss-centric Yoga poses Post-Sun-salutation.
To take your weight-loss journey to the next level, you can also add extra physical exercise, including other forms of yoga or bodyweight training. Advanced Yoga poses like Virabhadrasana, Trikonasana, Sarvangasana, Dhanurasana, etc., can be an added staple for losing more fat.
It is recommended to do at least 12 rounds of Sun salutation every day, 6-days a week, to see noticeable changes in the body. People with severe obesity should practice the maximum number of Surya Namaskar regularly for a few months at a stretch to shed the extra fat. After reaching the target weight loss, they can reduce the intensity by decreasing the number of rounds in the daily practice.
If You like this article you might also want to read these other very informative and interesting articles on Surya Namaskar :
Relevent research papers, citations & refrences
- Effect of Surya Namaskar on weight loss in obese persons -R Nautiyal – Int. J. sci. and consciousness, 2016
- Acute effects of Surya Namaskar on the cardiovascular & metabolic system -Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, Volume 15, Issue 3,2011, Pages 343-347, ISSN 1360-8592, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbmt.2010.05.001
- A Systematic Review of the Energy Cost and Metabolic Intensity of Yoga – Larson-Meyer DE. A Systematic Review of the Energy Cost and Metabolic Intensity of Yoga. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2016 Aug;48(8):1558-1569. DOI: 10.1249/mss.0000000000000922.
- Energy expenditure during a Vinyasa yoga session – Tsopanidou AΑ, Venetsanou FD, Stavridis IS, Paradisis GP, Zacharogiannis EG. Energy expenditure during a Vinyasa yoga session. The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. 2020 Aug;60(8):1110-1117. DOI: 10.23736/s0022-4707.20.10821-1.
- The Effect of Suryanamaskar on Static and Dynamic Balance in Young Overweight and Obese Individuals – J Vira, U Pandit, PD Majumder – Int. J. of Science 2014