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Let’s face it, we all lead very busy lives. With work, family and friends to balance, eating right and exercising regularly often takes the back seat to more urgent (or fun!) activities.
If you want to live a longer, healthier life, you must introduce some regular type of exercise into your daily routine. Although strength workouts, running and aerobics are all beneficial, low-key exercises like yoga, combined with medication exercises, can help you stay centered, lower stress, give you more stamina and stronger willpower to get you through the busy, stressful times in life.
Here are a few ways yoga and meditation can improve your overall health.
With an emphasis on deep breathing and meditative thinking, yoga can do wonders for your stress level by bringing peace and relaxation to your mind. It’s not all in your head, however. Yoga and meditation have been proven to decrease the levels of cortisone and adrenaline, hormones that increase stress. It also triggers an increase in serotonin, the hormone that regulates appetite and mood – the more serotonin your body makes, the happier you’ll feel!
Circulation and lung capacity
Yoga poses go hand-in-hand with deep breathing exercises, which can help your body in two ways. First, breathing deeper and more steadily can improve your circulation, which lets nutrients and oxygen get to your muscles and organs more efficiently, giving you healthier skin and a better performing brain! Second, deep breathing can help you expand your lung capacity, and can help you stay focused and increase endurance in high-impact aerobic exercises. Deep breathing exercises also lead to a lower respiratory rate – low is good when you’re talking about respiration because it means the lungs are working efficiently. A controlled respiratory rate can help reduce asthma, bronchitis and sinus problems, too.
Decrease back pain
For chronic suffers of back pain, yoga can give you long-term relief. If you practice yoga consistently, you’ll increase elasticity in your spine while strengthening the muscles in your back. As a result, you’ll be able to hold a proper posture while you work or exercise – and that can keep your muscles from becoming sore or injured. Additionally, strong back muscles (and good posture) can prevent shoulder and neck pain and tension, which can lead to headaches.
Menopause and aging
Older adults sometimes view yoga as a “young person’s exercise”, but yoga is for anyone, and can be especially helpful for its anti-aging properties. Postures can increase flexibility and stamina for older adults, reverse the force of gravity on the body and experience fewer medical problems. Women who are experiencing menopause can also benefit from yoga and meditation. A recent study found menopausal women reported a 30 percent decrease in hot flashes and reported less physical and sexual discomfort.
Body system balance
Yoga alone will help you balance your body physically, but meditation by itself can help you balance yourself emotionally and mentally. The relaxation response from meditation decreases metabolism, improves heart rate, lowers blood pressure and removes tension. Other benefits include mood and immunity boosts, chronic pain management and healthier sleep patterns. Some physicians even believe meditation can help resolve infertility problems: in a 10-week meditation program study, 30% of women who had struggled with infertility, stress, anxiety and depression became pregnant within six months of beginning the program. Meditation can also increase gamma wave activity, brain waves associated with learning and happiness.
About The Author: Shawn Tremaine enjoys spending time with his 2 kids. When he gets the chance he likes to work out to stay fit and review sites like MindBodyMojo.com.
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