10 reasons to integrate yoga into your fitness routine

If you’ve never integrated yoga into your fitness routine, you are really missing the boat (and not the boat pose). Yoga hits the mark for so many of us, whether you are new to working out, or you are a gym rat, everyone will enjoy the health benefits of yoga.


Benefits of yoga – musculoskelatal

  1. Increased flexibility – Regardless of the type of yoga, one of the most obvious benefits of yoga is improved flexibility. After your first class, you will definitely face challenges in your flexibility, whether its tightness in your hips, hamstrings, or back. Over time, yoga will assist in improving this flexibility and will even help your posture.
  2. Improved posture – Most Americans sit for far too long throughout their workday, which negatively affects posture. Whether it’s sitting in front of a computer all day or driving behind the wheel, slumping can cause poor posture and even degenerative arthritis. Yoga can help improve this posture over time, as your flexibility improves.
  3. Strengthens your muscles – But because yoga strengthens your muscles while improving your flexibility, it offers so much more to your muscle strength. Hey meatheads, time to master a sun salutation!
  4. Protects your spine – One of the most common areas of quick breakdown for many Americans as they age is the spinal disks. These disks are essential for providing shock absorption for our spine, but when they breakdown, significant pain ensues.
  5. Improves bone health – As most know, weight-bearing exercise helps strengthen bones and prevents osteoporosis. Well, bearing your own weight is the key to yoga. In fact, yoga may actually improve bone density.


Benefits of yoga – cardiovascular

  1. Increases blood flow – Bottom line, yoga gets your blood moving and flowing. Yoga helps oxygenate all of your cells, and the additional twisting poses actually help detox all of your cells. This is a huge benefit of yoga.
  2. Increases your heart rate – Specifically in more aerobic yoga, like Vinyasa or Ashtanga yoga (think Power yoga), the practice will increase your heart rate similar to many cardio routines. Aerobic routines help oxygenate all of the cells in the body, which help increase endurance and lower your resting heart rate.
  3. Lowers your blood pressure – “Two studies of people with hypertension, published in the British medical journal The Lancet, compared the effects of Savasana (Corpse Pose) with simply lying on a couch. After three months, Savasana was associated with a 26-point drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number) and a 15-point drop in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number—and the higher the initial blood pressure, the bigger the drop.” This is incredible!

Benefits of yoga – mental health

  1. Makes you happy – Yoga is proven to raise serotonin and monoamine oxidase levels (key neurotransmitters targeted by antidepressants). And I thought I felt better because I loved yoga!!
  2. Supports a healthy lifestyle – Not surprisingly, yoga inspires a healthy lifestyle, especially when it comes to eating healthy.

Inspired to join that yoga class tomorrow morning?? Downward dog, baby!

Reference: http://www.yogajournal.com/article/health/count-yoga-38-ways-yoga-keeps-fit/

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