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What are the Health Benefits of Yoga?

health benefits of yoga

Want to reduce your stress, strengthen your heart, and ease away migraines? Try yoga! 

Yoga has grown massively in popularity over the past few years. In fact, 36 million Americans already practice yoga today. There are even 300 million yoga practitioners worldwide, too.

The majority of people start using yoga to improve their flexibility (61%), reduce stress (56%), and improve general fitness (49%). However, those are only a few health benefits of yoga to keep in mind.

Keep reading to discover 10 reasons to try yoga. After reading this guide, you can make a more informed decision for your overall health.

Start stretching! Read on to learn more.

1. Ease Stress and Anxiety

Many people already use yoga for stress relief. It can help promote relaxation by decreasing the secretion of cortisol.

Cortisol is the body’s natural stress hormone. Too much cortisol can cause:

  • Severe fatigue
  • Depression, anxiety, and irritability
  • Muscle weakness
  • Headaches
  • Weight gain
  • High blood pressure
  • Difficulty concentrating

You can use yoga to reduce your cortisol levels, which can also ease stress, anxiety, fatigue, and depression symptoms.

In one study, people who used yoga for stress relief after 10 weeks experienced reduced stress and anxiety. It also helped improve their mental health and quality of life, too.

If you’re ever feeling stressed out, add a little yoga to your daily routine. You can also pair yoga with other methods of relieving stress, such as meditation.

Other than easing stress, one of the best reasons to try yoga is to reduce your anxiety. 

In one study, women with anxiety disorder participated in a yoga class twice a week for two months. By the end of the study, the women had significantly lower levels of anxiety than others. 

You might want to take a yoga class if you struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), too. PTSD is characterized by severe fear and anxiety after a traumatic event. Participating in yoga could ease your PTSD symptoms.

You can take a yoga class to focus your mind and attention on the present. Finding inner peace could help ease your anxiety.

2. Reduce Inflammation

Chronic inflammation is associated with several diseases, including:

  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s
  • Obesity

Chronic inflammation can also cause rashes, mouth sores, fever, and fatigue.

Easing inflammation levels is a great reason to try yoga. Participating in yoga classes could help reduce your levels of inflammatory markers. Easing your inflammation levels could reduce your risk of the conditions mentioned above.

We need more research to fully understand the beneficial effects of yoga on inflammation, though.

3. Strengthen Your Heart

If you’re looking for reasons to try yoga this year, consider your heart health. Your heart health is essential to your overall health. After all, your heart is responsible for pumping blood throughout the entire body.

It supplies your tissues with essential nutrients, too.

Taking a regular yoga class could improve your heart health. It might even reduce your risk factors for heart disease. Common risk factors for heart disease include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol

About half of all Americans have at least one of these three risk factors.

Certain behaviors can increase your risk of heart disease, too, including not getting enough physical activity. In fact, failing to remain physically active could put you at risk for other medical conditions. These include obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

If you’re looking for ways to get active, try yoga. Yoga could lower your blood pressure and pulse rate.

Otherwise, high blood pressure could lead to other health concerns, including heart attack and stroke.

Yoga might slow the progression of heart disease. It could decrease your total cholesterol and bad LDL cholesterol, too. 

In the meantime, here are a few exercises that can benefit your heart health.

4. Breathe Easy

Yoga focuses on controlling the breath through techniques and breathing exercises. You could improve your breathing and increase your vital capacity.

Vital capacity is how much air you can expel from the lungs. It’s important for people with lung disease, asthma, and heart problems. 

Improving your breathing could help build endurance. It might optimize your physical performance as a result.

5. Ease Migraines

Take a yoga class and see if it reduces your chronic migraines. Yoga might decrease your headache frequency and intensity. Reducing your headaches could benefit your entire quality of life.

6. Improve Flexibility and Balance

Many people try yoga for flexibility as well. You can use different poses to target flexibility and balance. 

Experiencing the health benefits of yoga might even improve your physical fitness with sports, training, and other activities. Your balance could improve, too, which could benefit your mobility.

7. Sleep Easy

Without sleep each night, you could grow irritable or struggle to focus throughout the day. Poor sleep is also associated with obesity, depression, and high blood pressure. 

Adding yoga to your daily routine could help promote better sleep. You could fall asleep faster and feel well-rested in the morning, too. You’ll no longer have to rely on medications to get the sleep you need.

Yoga could increase your secretion of melatonin, which regulates sleep and wakefulness.

8. Ease Chronic Pain

Inflammation can cause chronic pain symptoms. Remember, yoga could reduce your inflammation, which might ease pain symptoms.

For example, yoga could ease pain associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. It could improve your grip strength, too.

9. Fight Depression

Yoga might have an anti-depressant effect. It could decrease symptoms of depression as a result.

Remember, yoga can help reduce cortisol levels. Cortisol can impact your serotonin levels, which is often associated with depression.

10. Improve Your Quality of Life

As you begin experiencing these health benefits of yoga, you might notice your overall quality of life has improved.

Yoga can reduce your symptoms of many serious health conditions. It can also ease pain symptoms and fatigue. Meanwhile, your physical health and ability to sleep will improve.

Getting enough sleep each night can give you enough energy to remain social and active. It can improve your ability to focus, too.

If you’re looking for ways to get active and enjoy each and every day, consider picking up yoga.

Namaste Every Day: 10 Amazing Health Benefits of Yoga

Yoga is for much more than flexibility and balance. Keep these amazing health benefits of yoga in mind. If you’re looking for a way to improve your physical and mental health, give yoga a try!

Want to improve your fitness regimen this year? We can help.

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