Part of living a healthier lifestyle is finding an exercise routine that works for you. While going to the gym and working out is a basic form of exercise, this is not for everyone. If high-intensity cardio or lifting isn’t the type of exercise that gets you excited to work out, then you should consider trying yoga. Although not a characteristically heart-pumping, intense workout, yoga is actually a great way to stay healthy because it provides a range of physical and mental benefits.
Yoga incorporates breathing exercises, meditation, and poses that are designed to build strength and balance, and reduce anxiety. The benefits range from stress relief to muscle building and many in between.
Benefits of Yoga
There are numerous benefits to practicing yoga, but the main benefits involve your physical and mental health. The following benefits are enjoyed by yogis all over the world!
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Yoga is known for its ability to reduce stress and anxiety, and promote relaxation. There have been studies done that show yoga can decrease the secretion of cortisol (stress hormone). Yoga practice emphasizes the importance of controlled breathing and being present in the moment. During each yoga session, there are moments of stillness and peace which could help to relieve anxiety and stress.
Yoga practice is about controlled body movements. There are specific poses that are designed to increase strength and build muscle. People who regularly practice yoga often experience a significant increase in upper body strength as well as endurance and weight loss. Many people start to notice a reduction in body fat percentage as well.
Improves Balance and Flexibility
If you desire to improve flexibility and balance, then yoga should be incorporated into your routine. Even just practicing yoga for 30 minutes a day could make a big difference in both flexibility and balance. Yoga exercises involve a series of poses that target specific muscles when combined together, particularly when with other exercises.
Improves Heart Health
High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of heart problems, such as heart attacks and stroke. Incorporating exercises that lower your blood pressure can reduce the risk of these problems. Yoga is a great practice for improving heart health because it teaches breathing control and relaxation while also incorporating cardiovascular work during the movements, which then helps strengthen the muscles.
Better Sleep Quality
Studies have shown that people who partake in regular yoga practice fall asleep faster, sleep longer, and feel more rested the next morning. Yoga has been shown to increase the secretion of melatonin (sleep hormone) in our bodies. Plus, yoga influences stress, anxiety, and depression which all contribute to sleep problems.
Improves Quality of Life
Overall, yoga can help to improve your quality of life. It is a simple way to get the exercise that truly encompasses your entire body. From improving your strength, balance, and flexibility to also helping your heart and mental health – yoga truly has lasting benefits in your life.
Get Started Today
You can start yoga on your own or with a group. The free 20-20-20 fitness class for bariatric patients at Kennedy Fitness & Wellness Center offers yoga as part of the weekly course. Join in Monday evenings from 6:30 to 7:30 pm!