To help show you how yoga can benefit you, we have put together 15 reasons on why you should include yoga into your fitness routine.
1. INCREASE STRENGTH
Yoga is one of the best ways to improve your strength as it relies purely on bodyweight. Lifting weights to gain strength works well but it also comes with a high risk of injury that yoga just doesn’t have.
2. INCREASE FLEXIBILITY
You’ve probably already assumed that yoga helps with flexibility, but what you may not have realised is how that can actually impact your fitness routine. Being able to touch your toes is great, but how does this help me workout? Simply put, flexibility opens doors to new types of exercise that you couldn’t do before such as deadlifts or certain sit-ups. As well as this it also keeps muscles supple and as supple muscles have more ‘give’ they are less likely to tear causing an injury.
3. TONES MUSCLES
In the same way that yoga increases strength, it also tones muscles all over the body. A toned body is a strong body which then means your muscles are quicker at recovering from exercise. With a shortened recovery time you are able to exercise more frequently without injury.
4. IT’S A WORKOUT
No yoga session is the same and some are focused on the mind and spirit, however at Sweat Studios we focus on yoga for physical fitness and these sessions can be very intense, trust us. A Sweat Hot or Sweat Flow yoga session with us can be the equivalent to a full gym session with the benefit of no muscle soreness the next day.
5. IMPROVES BREATHING
Yoga teaches breathing techniques, (known as pranayama), which are useful in stressful situations as they are a fantastic way of staying calm and relaxed. These techniques lend themselves perfectly to working out as breathing steadily and calmly during exercise can make a huge difference to your performance.
6. SLEEP LIKE A BABY
We all know that sleep is hugely important, not to mention pretty great, but what a lot of us underestimate is how important it is when exercising. When you workout you are essentially damaging your muscles so they will grow back bigger and stronger. The repair of these muscles happens most efficiently whilst you are asleep. Yoga teaches you how to quiet the mind, relax the body and truly unwind allowing you to get a full and deep sleep.
7. WEIGHT LOSS
If weight loss is a target of yours then yoga could be a great way of shedding off those pesky pounds. Hot yoga is especially good for weight loss as the combination of heat and strong poses (using big muscle groups) is a brilliant way to help lose weight quickly and effectively.
8. BOOSTS YOUR METABOLISM
It is important to boost your metabolism as early as possible in the day to put your body into ‘fat burning’ mode. This then means what you eat throughout the day is used more efficiently. If the gym in the morning seems a bit much then an early morning yoga session could be perfect for you.
9. REDUCES BELLY FAT
Targeting certain parts of the body for weight loss, such as belly fat, is hard. However, what you can do is target certain areas to help tone them which can then lead to fat loss. There are a number of yoga poses that are designed to help tone your stomach, which will help to get rid of that stubborn belly fat.
10. CORRECTS POSTURE
Yoga is fantastically effective at correcting a bad posture and helping to keep a healthy spine. A lot of poses and seated positions require a straight back which is hard for those who have bad posture, but this gets easier over time as your back and core get stronger. This is incredibly important for the gym as bad posture and a weak core when lifting weights can lead to painful back injuries.
11. PREVENTS CARTRIDGE AND JOINT BREAKDOWN
Whenever you workout you put stress and strain on your cartilage and joints which can lead to pain later in life. However, when you practice yoga you are taking your joints through their full range of motion which can help prevent this damage and keeps them juicy and healthy. This is a great counter to the pounding your joints get with gym-based workouts.
12. IMPROVES YOUR BALANCE
One of the best things about yoga is how quickly it can improve your balance. Although you might be wobbly and shaky when you first start, you will soon develop a better balance as your core gets stronger and you activate muscles not previously used. This then means that during exercise you are much more stable and less likely to injure yourself.
Mindfulness is one of the key principles of yoga and boasts many different benefits, such as improving concentration and focus and relieving stress. One of the greatest things about practising yoga is how well it can improve your energy levels and keep you feeling positive. Healthier than coffee and much more enjoyable, yoga will keep you upbeat and happy all day, so why not try it out and see what it can do for you?
14. REDUCE MUSCLE SORENESS
There is nothing worse than having a great session in the gym and then waking up the next day unable to move because your body hates you, especially if it was leg day. Well, with yoga you can actually help prevent this. Bringing suppleness to the muscles will ease that post-gym tightness.
15. IMPROVE STAMINA
The last but no means least reason for you to include yoga into your exercise routine is that it will improve your overall stamina. The longer you can last in the gym then the quicker you will see results. It’s as simple as that. By holding poses, focusing on breathing and teaching mind over matter, yoga is one of the few things out there that can not only improve your stamina, but at the same time improve your strength.
Matthew Evans lives in Manchester, England and works as a copywriter. He has a passion for fitness and writing and try to combine these as much as possible.
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