How balanced is your fitness routine? If you do high-intensity workouts like our new X10 video or our STS strength training program, your body needs time to rest and recover between challenging sessions, yet it’s important to still stay active. That’s where a relaxing yoga routine comes in. A yoga workout is a way to stay active on a recovery day and it offers other benefits as well.
Benefits of Yoga Workouts: They Help to Lengthen Your Muscles
Doing high-intensity workouts causes high volumes of neural discharge. This can increase the resting tone of your muscles after your workout is finished, leading to muscle tightness and stiffness. Yoga helps to elongate the muscles and relieve tightness. When one muscle group is tight it can affect the performance of other muscles and increase the risk for injury. Yoga also stretches and lengthens your spine and that helps to improve your posture. If you sit hunched over at a desk all day, yoga helps reduce the risk of back and neck pain by stretching and lengthening your spine and adjacent muscles.
Yoga is Good Mood Therapy
All forms of exercise help to relieve stress but, according to one study, yoga may offer more mood-enhancing benefits than other forms of exercise. According to a study carried out by Boston University School of Medicine, yoga increases levels of a neurotransmitter called GABA that helps to ease symptoms of stress. Higher GABA levels are linked with improvements in mood and a reduction in anxiety. So convincing were the results that the researchers believe yoga could help treat certain mood disorders including anxiety and depression. Yoga has the power to alter neurotransmitters and brain pathways in much the same way as medications used to treat mood disturbances and its 100% natural. Other research shows yoga may be helpful for improving sleep quality in people with chronic insomnia.
Improvements in Flexibility and Balance With Yoga Workouts
The benefits of a yoga workout can transfer over into other parts of your life. Yoga boosts muscle flexibility and works balance, both of which can improve functional capabilities. When you’re more flexible, it reduces your risk of injury by allowing your joints to move through their full range of motion. Being flexible can help you perform better in certain sports as well.
Balance is another issue that becomes more important as we age. It’s the loss of muscle strength and age-related balance issues that cause older people to become frail or suffer a fall. Research shows yoga improves balance and postural stability and even helps stroke victims regain confidence and functional capacity by improving their sense of balance.
Greater Body Awareness
Yoga teaches you to live in the moment and be more centered and focused. That can help you be more aware and focused in other aspects of your life. There’s even evidence that it helps to manage pain, especially back pain and, possibly, arthritis pain and stiffness. It’s a workout that’s as good for your mind as it is for your body.
The Bottom Line?
Adding a relaxing yoga workout to your fitness routine can make it more balanced and help with recovery from higher intensity exercise, both mentally and physically. The benefits you get from yoga will transfer over into other areas of your life by increasing flexibility and balance and giving you greater functional capacity. It’s also the ultimate stress reliever. See what it can do for you!
Science Daily. “New Study Finds New Connection Between Yoga and Mood”
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Veteran’s Administration. ” VA Study: Yoga Improves Balance Following Stroke”
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