Better Workout: Yoga or Gym?

SAN ANTONIO. (KFSN) -- 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.Submit

Yoga, stretching, balance and core strength. Or the gym, 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.

Daniel Hughes, PhD, Assistant Professor and Clinical Exercise Physiologist at 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.

Professor Hughes told Ivanhoe, "What we asked all three groups to do was to do an hour at a time, and three hours per week."

Going in, Professor Hughes thought his gym workout would be the winner.

But Nydia Tijerina-Darby, PT, DPT, MS, Yoga Therapist, thought her yoga program would win. "And 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," Professor Hughes Submitexplained.

Michelle Hart who participated in the study was surprised by the results. She told Ivanhoe, "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."

But 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.

Exactly, about three hours a week of whatever gets you moving, is key.

Professor Hughes told Ivanhoe, "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."

All the participants in the study lost the same amount of body fat, about four percent. Researchers say one small difference: the yoga group performed better stretching and reaching.

For more information, contact:

Daniel C. Hughes, PhD
Adjunct Assistant Professor
UT Health Science Center, San Antonio
Copyright © 2019 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.