Staying healthy and fit is a desire many people have, and those who practice yoga are no different. However, there is a premise that yoga alone can maintain good health, which may seem like more of a marketing gimmick than a viable, exercise conclusion. However, yoga is far more than an exercise or sport. It represents and incorporates a fundamental balance of physical and mental performance. So there’s a viable possibility that yoga can be very effective in improving and maintaining good health.
Fitness in general is a vague term used to define people being healthy and capable of performing the physical feats they want to on a regular basis. This includes being able to physical move and exercise without pain, delay, loss of breath, strength and similar. Traditionally, many use cardiovascular exercise and weightlifting or resistance to develop a state of fitness. However, yoga can do the same as well.
Yoga helps improve health in four different ways:
- Cardiovascular performance
- Improved body composition
Many of yoga’s forms, movements and exercises uniquely designed to settle, strengthen and improve cardiovascular performance. The ability to breathe better and stronger is improved over time through coordinated breathing exercises will holding positions, stretches and more. That, over time, helps create a stronger internal system for bringing oxygen into the body. It also helps reduce heart problems, cholesterol build up, and weak blood vessels. The more pressure the body pushes through the cardiovascular system, the stronger the heart and related blood vessels become as a result.
Clearly, long-term yoga redefines the body and its ability to hold positions, weight, angles and forms. Using the body’s own weight as resistance, the entire body from the core to the legs and arms build up capacity. That in turn provides strength to do more and more, even when a person grows older. Pulled muscles, strains and sprains, and ligament twists don’t happen near as much, even when active, because regular yoga provides consistent stretching and strength-building year round. The muscle-building also helps a person burn more calories everyday as well, reducing or preventing weight gain with a good diet.
Yoga is well known for developing good flexibility in practitioners, especially in the back, core, and limbs. This type of stretching and position-holding helps people perform better without tissue or ligament tears that become common with older age. Increased stretching also allows the body’s muscles to handle greater strain without weakness as they can be stretched farther without damage.
Overall Body Makeup
Yoga provides a comprehensive approach to body development and balance. As a result, it will, over time, change a person’s body composition to perform better. This includes increased muscle mass, better flexibility, better breathing and reduced fat. It also helps of course to adjust one’s diet and not engaging in damage behaviour such as smoking. That said, yoga can definitely create a far better physical makeup with consistent practice and application. That, in turn, improves mental confidence and capacity, which improves mental outlook as well. The two become a circle of improvement, moving a person to a better and better stage overall.
Yoga isn’t a perfect solution for overall health maintenance. People still get sick, catch viruses and grow older. However, the activity can definitely improve a person’s overall health, which in turn creates long-term benefits. These improvements do contribute to a less sedentary lifestyle and a better physical maintenance of the body. That also helps contribute to enjoying life more, staying healthier, and a better mental outlook. When so much of being fit and healthy involves balance of the body and mind, yoga is definitely an approach worth looking into for long-term health.