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5 Reasons Yoga Improves Health & Fitness

December 11, 2012

1.  Uses Body Weight. Yoga uses the individual’s own body weight to uniformly strengthen, stretch and tone muscles unlike some regimes which overdevelop particular muscle groups.  Yoga helps to build lean muscle mass.  The metabolic needs of muscles tissue are higher than fat tissue, burning more calories during and after exercise.Yoga uses minimal equipment and can be practised at home.

2.  Core Strength.  Yoga strengthens and conditions the core stabilising muscles of the abdomen and back. Lessons include exercises that strengthen and tone the large and small muscles of the hips, lower back and abdomen. Exercising these muscles improves overall stability of the trunk enabling you to perform various activities that require strength and agility or just enjoy life more fully.

3. Aerobically Challenging.  Sequences such as the Sun Salutations and other continuously linked poses increase the heart rate, making yoga aerobically challenging. Holding poses for longer periods of time also makes them more challenging.

4. Stress Reduction Impacts Body Fat.  Your body releases the hormone cortisol during its ‘fight-or-flight’ response to stress. In turn cortisol can raise blood sugar levels which causes your body to release insulin. Insulin sends a signal to your body that causes food to be stored as fat.  A regular yoga practice helps to relieve stress and thus your cortisol levels and the chain of events that follow.

5. Detoxifies Body.  In yoga the body is lengthened, twisted, turned and inverted whilst breathing deeply.  This facilitates the removal of carbon dioxide, lactic acid and lymphatic fluid from the deep tissues and extremities of the body which a jog or a bike ride don’t reach.

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