The benefits of yoga as part of your workout

Certain forms of exercise go through phases of being incredibly popular and then fading into oblivion again. The latest trend is high intensity interval training – known popularly as HIIT – which has hit gyms, fitness apps, and is used extensively by personal trainers. There is one form of exercise though which has never gone ‘out of fashion’ – yoga. We take a look at the reasons why that is and how it can be helpful to incorporate even a few of its basics into whatever fitness regime you may be following.

Yoga has been around for thousands of years. However, a lot of people associate it purely with flexibility and meditation and while those are part of it, they are not all there is to it. Increasingly, trainers incorporate elements of yoga into their clients’ fitness routines and it could be that you don’t recognise a particular exercise as one that has come from yoga.

You don’t have to know the names of each asana, or posture, to benefit from it. You may not even want to know it is derived from yoga. But the benefits are many and varied, including:

  • Increased flexibility. This doesn’t have to mean being able to touch your toes or do a headstand. Over time though and with continued practice, your flexibility will increase and while you may never be able to touch your toes, no yogi ever said that you have to.
  • Increased strength. You use your own body weight for many yoga positions which will build muscle strength, tone muscles, and help protect your from arthritis and back pain, amongst other conditions.
  • Increased balance. The combination of improved strength and flexibility will also lead to better balance. This is particularly important as we grow older, keeping us more stable and less prone to falls and accidents.
  • Increases joint lubrication, helping to alleviate chronic conditions such as arthritis and reducing the joint pain associated with them.
  • Stimulates organ health. Certain poses, such as twists, will help to massage your internal organs keeping them healthy and functioning well.
  • Can help with weight loss. While not all yoga types will do this, if you are looking for a form of yoga that will help you burn calories look for those that increase your heart rate such as vinyasa (or flow) yoga or ashtanga.
  • Improves breathing. Yoga is based on the flow of oxygen through the body and movements are in tune with the breath, making it an excellent way to slow down and breathe properly. As a result, you will notice that you feel calmer, your blood circulation will benefit, and you will be more focused.

You are never too old to incorporate yoga into your fitness regime and adding even a few keys elements and exercises into your regular routine can be immensely beneficial. Talk to us at Valkyrie Personal Training & Massage today about how we can help you do this or how yoga can complement your ongoing fitness and conditioning. All you need to do is give us a call on 07973 483314 and we’ll find the right exercise and fitness regime for you in no time.

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