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Last Updated on October 28, 2019
When it comes to exercise, most people think of a hot, sweaty, and gross workout at the gym. Exercise can feel like such a chore that most people skip out on it entirely; less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day, and only one in three adults receive the recommended amount of physical activity each week. However, you don’t necessarily have to start running on the treadmill to get your activity in. Instead, yoga can be a great way to exercise with plenty of benefits for your health. But what makes this meditative and relaxing activity so great for both your body and mind?
Yoga uses isometric exercises to strengthen your muscles, and in the process it also helps you develop your balance. You might not start out with the more difficult poses that require good balance right away, you’ll slowly build up the skills and muscles that improve your balance and posture over time. This is especially important to develop as you age, as balance can naturally weaken over time; as many as one in three elderly adults suffers a serious stairway fall each year.
While most people think of cardio-focused workouts as being intense and challenging tasks like running, biking, swimming, and more, yoga can also have huge benefits for your heart. Studies show that yoga may help improve heart health and reduce several risk factors for heart disease. The simple meditative exercise can decrease blood pressure under the right circumstances, decreasing the risk of developing heart disease or potentially even slowing its progression. Treatments for heart conditions are often invasive; cardiac catheterization is a valuable tool in the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease. Instead, it’s best to use this type of exercise to prevent the development of heart disease in the first place.
Fun Time With Friends
Sometimes, it can be difficult to work out with others; if you’re out of breath and sweating, you might not really feel like talking to other people. Instead, yoga offers participants a great group activity that can keep you and your friends in great shape. Yoga classes can also be a great way to meet new people – there are about 36.7 million yoga participants in the United States, meaning you’re sure to find someone to spend time with if you attend a local yoga class. The benefits of yoga aren’t just physical, they’re social and psychological too.
Mindfulness And Meditation
Lastly, one of the most commonly praised benefits of yoga that makes it an exercise of choice for many is its benefits for mental health. Yoga encourages mindfulness and meditation, both of which are connected to decreased rates of anxiety, stress, depression, and more. Some participants in yoga aren’t even involved for the physical benefits or to strengthen their bodies; rather, they’re looking for an addition to their routine that can help them live more thoughtfully. While yoga isn’t a total replacement for other mental health support structures, it can be a part of a more active and mindful lifestyle that encourages overall wellness for both body and mind.
Yoga makes for an excellent exercise opportunity for anyone looking to strengthen both their body and mind without the intensity that some other workout plans require. If you’re looking to expand on your existing exercise routine or explore a new option, yoga could be the mindful addition you’ve been waiting for.