Skip to content

Yoga Before or After Cardio?

group of people in gym while exercising

The journey to losing weight is already hard enough, so we want to know anything that can speed it up. 

The first step, as always, is a healthy diet. The kitchen is always the place where losing weight takes place. But adding some yoga and cardio will definitely help! But the question is, which should come first?

With the world today where almost everything is accessible via Youtube and Google, confusions regarding which to do and which comes first are naturally rampant. 

Despite the confusion, rest assured that there is a correct way to play around your yoga and cardio sessions safely while maximizing weight loss.

Yoga before cardio

With all the stretches and the core work we do in yoga, it’s a great way to build some heat up. To loosen those tight limbs, a quick flow is a logical thing to start with. But there are types of yoga, like Bikram and iyengar, that will definitely think twice since these types already feel like a whole workout!

What to do

If your choice is to start with yoga, make sure to think of it as a warm-up session. A quick 10 to 15 minutes is enough to prepare you for your workout proper. It will help your tight and stiff muscles to loosen up while flushing out lactic acid buildup, thus, lessening pain. 

The addition in the range of motion yoga gives will definitely help up your cardio performance. And as we know, better performance means more weight loss. 

Additionally, a quick two-minute mindful meditation at the end of your flow warm-up can help reduce injury too!

What NOT to do

Please don’t take “warming up” seriously by doing some Bikram or hot yoga class prior to your cardio. Jumping into intense cardio after a sweaty session puts you at a significant risk of overheating, dehydration, and injury. 

Moreover, strenuous and intense yoga practices, such as Ashtanga, Bikram, or power yoga can slightly strain your muscles making your knees feel weak. Weak knees and cardio are quite an injury-inducing combo!

A little sweat from a yoga warm-up is great, just make sure not to overdo it.

Yoga after cardio

If you prefer your yoga after your cardio, then you should ultimately treat it as a cool-down session. 

What to do

High intensity cardio workouts, such as HIIT (high intensity interval training, are definite fat burners. Typically, a lot of cardio programs online and on DVDs and such already comes with a warm-up. In these cases, yoga as a warm-up session may not be needed.

What you can do instead is have it for your cool-down period. Low-impact yoga flow can help lower your temperature and those stretches you need after your intense cardio. This will help decrease your post-exercise soreness and stiffness.

To maximize this, a shorter yoga session followed by a meditation should suffice. Don’t worry, even a quick and low-intensity yoga can help you burn some more calories!

Now if high-intensity cardio is not something you enjoy as much as yoga, then you also have the option to treat your cardio as your warm-up. Just make sure to have it short and sweet, nothing too intense.

What NOT to do

If your yoga starts after an intense cardio, consider the fact that you may have lost a lot of energy before your flow. Thus, take it easy on your yoga mat and just listen to your body. Ensure to take it one yoga pose at a time to prevent any injuries. 

Another thing to consider is you must be dripping with sweat at this point in your workout so don’t forget to have a yoga towel ready, or invest in a sweat-absorbing yoga mat like this one. And please hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate!

Best way to lose weight with yoga

It takes patience and consistency to reach your weight loss goals. If you’re the type who can’t stand high-intensity programs and how difficult they can be for our body, don’t worry!

Just remember that the first step to losing weight is showing up. Keep in mind all your goals and all the reasons why you need to attain them. Your body is your sanctuary, make sure that you take care of it.