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The Head-to-Toe Benefits of Yoga | Parrish Medical Center

ARTICLE BY BY PARRISH MEDICAL CENTER


For centuries, yoga enthusiasts have boasted about the physical and mental health benefits of the discipline. Now, more than ever, people are using yoga as a way to relax, de-stress and even as a way to combat stiff and achy joints. Here are some excellent reasons why you should adopt yoga into your exercise repertoire:

Get a “Leg Up” on Your Immune System There are many factors in life that can wreak havoc on your immune system, including stress. A weakened immune system can leave you vulnerable to illnesses and disease. Not only can yoga reduce your risk of cancer, but many cancer patients and survivors have incorporated yoga into their health and wellness routine. Yoga can serve as a support system in reducing fatigue from treatments and relief from anxiety. Get “OM” Your Way to Better Bone and Joint Health! Yoga has an abundance of poses that can not only relieve joint pain, but can also increase bone health! Since yoga poses are low-impact, it can be a safe exercise for those who may suffer from the following common bone and joint problems:

Arthritis

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Back pain

Fibromyalgia

Osteoarthritis

Power Up Your Noggin!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this low-impact activity can strengthen your muscles, balance ability and improve your flexibility. Practicing often can help maintain your range of motion so you can continue to enjoy everyday tasks.

Power Up Your Noggin Yoga offers some brain health perks too! While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s or dementia, the latest research suggests that yoga can help with prevention and improve symptoms. Since yoga poses involve practicing posture, breathing, and meditation, these exercises can play a role in increasing cognitive functions. Some other surprising facts – improve memory, increase attention and sharpen focus.

Heart and Soul Since stress has a strong link to heart disease, yoga is a great stress-buster that can keep your ticker healthy! According to the American Heart Association, yoga can have a positive impact on your heart health by:

Managing stress, depression, and insomnia

Lowering cholesterol

Decreasing blood pressure

Improving heart rate

Improving body mass index (BMI)

Listening to Your Body Maintaining a safe level of physical activity is very important to avoid causing long-term damage to your bones and joints. Follow these tips to ensure you are staying active and aware:

Talk to you doctor If you have sore and achy joints, before beginning any physical activity don’t be afraid to ask your doctor for their advice. They will be able to guide you on the type of activity and frequency that is best for you.

Engage in low-impact activities Try not to put much stress on your joints and get moving by doing activities like brisk walking, cycling, swimming, water aerobics, light gardening, group exercise classes and dancing.

Modify and start slow It’s okay to ease into physical activity. Pay attention to how your body reacts and modify for what is most comfortable for you. Your body may need extra time to adjust.


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