Fitness and physical activity are a great way to improve and maintain your general health. By engaging in physical activity, you’re giving a regular boost to your cardiovascular system, all while working towards increasing joint and muscle health. While some may prefer a good run or regular weight lifting at the gym, others may take a different avenue; one that improves not only physical health but mental, as well. Yoga is a practice the incorporates the use of mind and body, by engaging in different poses, meditations, and deep breathing exercises. If you’re looking for a new and exciting way to boost your physical activity, consider yoga for some of these major health benefits:
Improve Heart Health
Like other physical activities, yoga promotes healthy blood flow to your heart and other essential areas of the body. Studies suggest that those who participate in yoga regularly have lower blood pressures than those who don’t, further reducing their risk for heart disease or other cardiovascular issues. Additionally, yoga comes with the potential for lower cholesterol. While it’s important to remember diet also plays a large role in these factors, a good combination of a healthy diet and the right amount of physical activity is the best way to improve your heart health.
Decrease Stress & Anxiety
Yoga is known for its meditation and deep breathing exercises. In a quiet relaxing atmosphere, those that participate in yoga can often experience a lower level of stress, and can better combat daily anxiety and worrisome feelings. Multiple studies have shown that regular participation in yoga has drastically reduced the symptoms of anxiety, from mild to severe, by promoting new ways to cope with distress. Yoga is also known to help decrease high levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. According to Healthline, one study following 64 women with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on a once a week yoga program for a total of ten weeks, had a significant reduction in their PTSD symptoms.
Joint & Bone Health
Physical activity is a great way to improve and maintain joint and bone health. Yoga contributes to not only strengthening the joints, but also promoting flexibility. For individuals with arthritis, inflammation often causes severe stiffness, swelling, and lack of mobility, depending on the level of severity. According to Everyday Health, people with arthritis who practice yoga often show improved flexibility and mobility, and reduced amounts of joint pain that may hinder their ability to move.
A Natural Antidepressant
Depression is a common disorder. Similar to the improvements to stress levels and anxiety, yoga is known to be a natural antidepressant for those struggling with this disorder. Yoga can be a great way to enhance your current treatment plan, or the first step in starting a holistic routine to combat depression.