Walking After Yoga (Everything you need to know)


In this article, I will be covering the benefits of doing yoga and walking as one of the easiest ways to stay in shape. But if you want the best results, how to combine those two? Should you do walking after yoga?

You can do walking after yoga because it gives substantial benefits such as improved metabolic rate, reduced muscle soreness, enhance recovery, and help to boost cognition. Doing walking after yoga can also increase the stamina resting heart rate.

But there is a lot more to this topic because doing walking before doing yoga also comes with a list of benefits, too.

Walking and Yoga

Walking and yoga are the kings of low-intensity workouts. I call it “low-hanging fruit” because it is available for everyone, has a low barrier of entry and both can be modified and personalized depending on your levels of fitness and flexibility.

Is it OK to do yoga and exercise together? You can combine walking and yoga because they both come with distinct benefits. Regular yoga practice helps to build up flexibility and strength, where regular brisk walking is been proven to enhance your cardiovascular system and enhance mood.

Is yoga and walking enough? For some people, doing yoga and walking is enough because they challenge all aspects of fitness including strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular. They also help to increase metabolic rate and downregulate the sympathetic nervous system.

Can you get fit by just doing yoga and walking? You can get fit by just doing walking and yoga. Some of the yoga asanas challenge your muscles and can be progressively advanced, similar to calisthenics. Also, walking of 10,000 steps per day is been universal point to classify individuals as ‘active’.

I won’t cover here the effects of yoga on fitness, and how it makes you feel. I have already covered that in detail in “6 Ways Yoga Makes You Fit Like No Other Workout“, which I recommend you read.

Can You Lose Weight By Walking and Yoga?

You can lose weight by walking and yoga because they both are effective ways to increase total daily energy expenditure. Some yoga poses meet the criteria for moderate-intensity physical activity, and when combined with walking they increase metabolic rate and burn calories.

Here are some of the yoga poses that burn the most amount of calories:

  • Boat pose
  • Crane pose
  • Bow pose
  • Scorpion pose
  • Headstand
  • Chaturanga
  • Handstand

Also, remember that during a yoga session, you are constantly transitioning from one asana to another. This flow of movements challenges your heart rate can burn between 200 and 400 calories, depending on the length and intensity of the class.

Here is the table with calories burned in 60 minutes time during various types of yoga styles divided by sample bodyweight of 130 lbs, 155 lbs, and 190 lbs.

Yoga style130 LBS155 LBS190 LBS
Power yoga248296363
Hatha yoga155185227
Sun salutation207244299
Breathing (pranayama)124148181
Yoga/stretching174207254
Calories burned during yoga variations (source)

As you can see, even the sun salutation is considered a good workout. In fact, in the next table, you can see how sun salutation compares with other general forms of activities.

Activity130 LBS155 LBS190 LBS
Sun salutation207244299
Bowling177211259
Carpentry206246302
Cleaning house205246305
Cooking148176216
Gardening295352431
Shoveling snow345422518
Table tennis236281345
Calories burned during various activities (source)

As you can see, sun salutation goes head to head.

What about walking?

Does walking burn calories? Walking does burn calories depending on several factors, including the duration, speed, inclination, external temperature, altitude, and the additional weight you carry. It also depends on factors like body weight, age, fitness level, and gender.

Here is the table with calories burned in 60 minutes time during various types of walking divided by sample bodyweight of 130 lbs, 155 lbs, and 190 lbs.

Activity130 LBS155 LBS190 LBS
Walk/run (playing with kids) moderate236281345
Walk/run (playing with kids) vigorous295352431
Walking, 2.0 mph, slow pace148176216
Walking, 3.0 mph, moderate pace (with dog)207246302
Walking, 3.5 mph, brisk walk 354422518
Walking, 4.0 mph, fast brisk walk236281345
Walking, carrying baby or 15lbs load207246302
Walking, grass track295352341
Walking, upstairs472563690
Walking, (with crunches)236281345
Calories burned during walking variations (source)

How many calories walking and yoga burn? Combining walking and yoga you can burn anywhere between 260 to 1050 kcal per one hour of each exercise, depending on body weight. People who weigh 130 lbs can burn between 260 – 720 kcal, where people who weigh 190 lb will burn around 400 – 1050 kcal.

How Do You Combine Yoga and Walking?

You can combine yoga with walking by either doing one exercise immediately after another, or you can designate separate days for walking and separate for yoga. Factors you need to take into consideration are a time of the day, energy levels and overall physical activity.

You can alternate yoga with walking by choosing some days as your yoga days, followed by walking days where you only do walking. Depending on your fitness level and how much time you have on your hands, you can always do them back to back.

Here is the example training program for yoga and walking.

WeekdayExercise
MondayYoga (60 minutes)
TuesdayWalking (60 minutes)
WednesdayWalking + Yoga (90 minutes)
ThursdayOFF (or active recovery)
FridayWalking + Yoga (90 minutes)
SaturdayYoga (60 minutes)
SundayWalking (60 minutes)

You can stick to this plan for a week or two and slowly add more intensity, duration or insert more days where you combine the two together.

Walking After Yoga? What comes first?

To choose what comes first, yoga or walking, it will depend on several factors like time of the day you workout, your energy levels, your willingness to train, how well did you sleep the previous night, and how much time, in general, you have for exercise.

Can I go for a walk after yoga? You can go for a walk after yoga. Doing a brisk walk after stretching helps to boost muscle perfusion, improves the clearance of the inflammatory compounds, and kick-start the lymphatic system which is stimulated by muscle contraction.

What are the benefits of walking after yoga? There are several benefits of taking a brisk walk after a yoga session. Not only is helps with burning extra calories, but also helps to reduce muscle soreness and the occurrence of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) that happens after an intense bout of exercise.

  • Improves resting heart rate
  • Improves metabolic rate
  • Improves muscle perfusion
  • Speed up recovery
  • Prevent from DOMS

Walking after yoga is one of the best methods to improve post-exercise recovery, speed up healing process and reduce muscle stiffness. Muscle soreness comes from the inflammatory markers like myoglobin and creatine kinase thats been release during hard exercise.

In case you wonder, there are multiple ways to deal with muscle pain after exercise. But I won’t be covering those methods here. I’ve already written an article about it “Stop Soreness After Yoga (Science-based methods)“, which I suggest you read.

Personally, I find that walking after yoga helps me to relax and sleep better, especially when I do them in the evening. However, I also like to do walking before yoga if I train in the morning. This way my muscles are more warmed-up and prepared for a good stretch.

Walking Before Yoga

You can do walking before yoga as a part of your active warm-up. The best effects of yoga you get after your muscles are warm. Brisk walking evokes body temperature, increases metabolic rate, and elevates oxygen uptake without depleting energy.

What are the benefits of walking before yoga? The biggest benefit of doing walking before yoga is muscle injury prevention. Sufficient warm-up allows for better muscular elasticity and lowers the tension in the end ranges of muscle fibers. Optimal muscle-tendon relationships facilitate better stretching results and prevent injury.

Here are the main benefits of doing walking before yoga:

  • Allows for better warm-up
  • Improves flexibility
  • Prevents from injury

If I know I will be training first thing in the morning, I always hop on the bike or do one to two mile walking before I get on my yoga mat. This way I feel immediately my muscles are more relaxed and loose.

On the other hand, if I wake up in the morning and get on my mat stiff, even after a few “warm-up” stretches, I always find that I cannot get to the optimal range of motion. I would need to spend at least 10-15 minutes on the warm-up.

If I do yoga in the evening, I find that I’m semi-ready and I don’t need to do much warm-up because my body has been moving all day. That’s why I don’t spend much time warming up, I just go straight into the sun salutation.

And of course, nothing feels better than a relaxing evening walk after a hard yoga session. The parasympathetic response makes my whole body completely relaxed. That’s what I look for if I train in the evening.

I also find that my gait changes when I go for a walk after yoga.

Does your walk change after yoga? Your walk does change after yoga because full-body stretching affects gait biomechanics and dictates the pattern of your walk. Studies have shown that yoga has a positive impact on balance and gait parameters.

Does yoga help with walking? Yoga does help with walking because it removes muscle tension, joint restrictions, and improves the range of motion in hips and ankles. Regular yoga practice also builds strength, balance, and coordination which makes walking more effortless.

So.

Is walking before yoga better? Waking before yoga is better if you need to spend more time warming up. It is also good if you practice yoga early in the morning. Doing 20-30 minutes of brisk walk before yoga ensures you have better mobility during your practice, and you can push for a deeper stretch.

Yoga Before or After Walking? The verdict

In general, regardless if you’re doing yoga before or after walking, it will benefit you both ways. Walking before yoga helps your muscles get properly warmed up and allows for better flexibility. Walking after yoga helps to reduce muscle soreness and the occurrence of DOMS.

Let’s look again and compare.

Walking AFTER yogaWalking BEFORE yoga
Prevent from DOMSGood warm-up
Speed up recoveryImproves flexibility
Improves muscle circulationPrevents from injury

If you exercise in the morning, and you have extra time on your hands, I recommend doing walking first and then yoga.

If you exercise in the evening, and you’ve been already active during the day, I recommend doing yoga first and then walking.

Conclusion

Combination of yoga and walking is one of the best modules to train. It is good to do exercise after yoga because it helps with reducing muscle soreness and getting rid of DOMS. It is also good to spend some time walking before yoga to kick start metabolism and prevent from injury.

In other words, it all depends on your personal goals.

Michal Sieroslawski

Michal is an exercise physiologist (MSc), nutrition coach, Ashtanga teacher, and fitness blogger. He shares his successes and failures to help busy men and women squash down 20, 50, or even 100 pounds of fat without leaving their home.

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