Sometimes a daily exercise routine can become, well, boring. If you're looking for a new and challenging exercise option, try a handstand. The handstand helps to build strong muscles as well as balance bragging rights. Yoga and gymnastics classes often include handstands for those who wish to attempt this challenging inversion. However, you can't rely on a handstand to make you lose weight, though the move could help if it's part of a fitness plan that includes plenty of cardio and low-calorie meals.
Healthy Weight Loss
The bottom line when it comes to losing weight is that you have to burn more calories than you take in. This requires both exercise and a healthy diet. Yes, it might be hard to fit it in between work, family and household obligations, but you're doing yourself a favor, because regular physical activity protects your health. To lose 1 pound in a week, you have to eliminate 3,500 calories through exercise and diet. Handstands will help you build lean muscle to replace fat, but they aren't likely to burn enough calories to contribute to significant weight loss.
The American Council on Exercise estimates that 10 minutes of gymnastics burns about 45 calories for a 150-pound woman. Obviously, you can't just do a couple of handstands and expect to lose weight. Your actual calorie burn is likely to be much lower, as holding a handstand for 10 minutes might be difficult. This doesn't mean that you have to give up handstands, since they do offer other benefits. Handstands help build lean muscle mass by strengthening and toning arm and back muscles, which boosts your metabolism and your calorie burn.
Women with strong arm muscles who are adept at handstands have the option of doing pushups while in the handstand position. Lowering and raising your body while you're upside down increases your calorie burn. Any extra calorie burn is beneficial for torching unwanted fat and getting closer to a slim and healthy physique.
Make Handstands Part of Your Weekly Exercise
Handstands can be done virtually anywhere and don't require any equipment. This gives you the chance to fit them in whenever you get the chance. For successful weight loss, include plenty of cardio in your routine. Anything that gets your heart rate going burns calories for weight loss. Most women need at least 150 minutes of moderate cardiorespiratory exercise each week, which means at least 60 minutes most days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Walking, swimming, dancing and biking are among the many options.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Losing Weight
- Shape: Handstand Pushups
- Whole Living: How to Work Your Way Up to a Yoga Handstand
- Sun and Moon Yoga Studio: Turning Upside Down: The Benefits of Headstand and Shoulder Stand
- American Council on Exercise: Physical Activity Calorie Calculator
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.