It improves your physique as well as your mental health, but even though yoga is one of the most beneficial exercises to do, many men still shy away from the practice. From increasing your strength to helping your sleeping patterns, there’s a wealth of reasons why men should do yoga.
Here’s our top nine reasons why you should incorporate yoga into your workout regime.
Builds your muscles evenly
A lot of men schedule their workouts to build their muscles on certain parts of their body, for example their arms or shoulders. Yoga works to build muscles all over the body evenly. Yoga practice will work the muscles many men ignore in their workout regimes, which makes it a great exercise for overall body conditioning, an ideal reason why men should do yoga, especially if their aim is to build muscle.
Reduces the risk of injury
As yoga works out the parts of the body we may not usually work or think about, it means that it strengthens the muscles that men don’t usually use efficiently. This is a great reason why men should do yoga, as it reduces the risk of injury when partaking in other sports and exercises.
Promotes weight loss
If your workout aim is to aid weight loss, yoga is a perfect exercise to aid this. Yoga helps weight loose as is lowers the levels of cortisol, or stress hormones. Cortisol causes your body to collect fat. As well as lowering cortisol, yoga also helps build lean muscle, by using your own body weight and resistance.
Relieves back pain
If you’re a guy who sits at a desk day in and day out, you may be feeling the effects on your lower back. This is a great reason why men should do yoga, as it can help relive this pain. Back pain can be caused by underuse of muscles, which yoga can help counteract. Studies have actually shown that yoga can help alleviate lower back pain, as well as other chronic pain.
Reduces stress and anxiety
Yoga is a practice that utilises mind-body techniques. The combination of physical movement and poses, with controlled breathing and relaxation can help reduce stress. This is because it lowers the heart rate and blood pressure, which helps reduce the stress hormones. Yoga will also help combat anxiety and depression.
If you’re new to yoga, you might find it challenging to focus on inhalation and exhalation, especially while you’re trying to hold unfamiliar poses using muscles you’re not used to working. Yoga challenges you to slow down your breathing, taking in long and slow breaths. This helps to expand your lung capacity and allows you to train your body to take in oxygen more efficiently. This will help you when you’re working on your regular workout regime, especially if you’re working on cardio or muscle building.
If you’re serious about working out, the words active rest won’t be new to you. Many men struggle to take rest days from their regular workout, which is important as it allows your body to recover, heal, and build muscle. Yoga offers a great opportunity for ‘active rest’, which is a great reason why men should do yoga. It allows you to be active, without overwhelming your body. If you’re a guy who can’t stand to sit around and not move on your rest days, yoga is a perfect way to take some down time.
Increase in flexibility
If you solely partake in high intensity workout sessions and heavy lifting, you may be causing a build-up of lactic acid in your body and muscles. Yoga is extremely helpful to get rid of this build up and reduce the stiffness. This is because yoga works to stretch and release tension, flushing out lactic acid. This will allow you to get back to your regular workouts faster, and improve your flexibility.
If you’re a guy who struggles with dropping off at night, yoga could be your answer. There’s so much evidence out there that regular yoga practice can actually help to relieve insomnia, improve your sleeping quality and cure anxiety and stress that might be keeping you up at night.
So now that you know the reasons why men should do yoga, you might be wondering how you can incorporate the practice of yoga into your regular workout regime. There are a few ways you can fit yoga in and around your workout regime.
You can add a yoga cool down after your regular workout to help reduce muscle soreness the next day. This should be around fifteen to thirty minutes consisting of restorative stretches like downward dog, pigeon and lizard. This will relax and lengthen your muscles and reduce the risk of injury from over-working.
You can also add a starter yoga workout to the beginning of your regular workout, lasting anywhere from five to thirty minutes. This will activate your muscles that you are about to use in your workout; align your body to allow you to workout with proper form, and reduce the risk of imbalance; and warm up your body, to help reduce the risk of injury. As you’ll be working out after this yoga practice, stay in each pose no longer than 30 seconds so you don’t wear your muscles out.
A solo yoga workout can be done on a rest day the day before your regular workout. These can last up to an hour, and will help to address any imbalance in your body and flexibility, as well as improve your range of motion and increase your strength. It can also improve your core strength before a workout. You can hold each pose for a little longer, as longer poses will allow your muscles to lengthen and grow more – a great ‘active rest’ for your body. Include strength building poses such as warrior and warrior two, and cobra.
By Amy Cavill
Did our reasons why men should do yoga sway you into adding the practice into your daily routine? Take a look at our Broga: Yoga for Men program to get you started!
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