There are several ways for a body to get fit, and many of them don’t have to take place in a gym. Things like jogging, walking, cycling, and hiking are among the most popular activities to do outdoors. They are just some of the many ways that an individual looking to get fit and healthy can do so without having to sweat it out using free weights and a treadmill.
When it comes to popular exercise alternatives, however, there’s always one that makes the list: yoga. A mix of meditation, breathing exercises, and physical postures, yoga has been making waves in the country over the past few decades. According to Forbes, the practice has continued to gain popularity in the States, with over 14% of U.S. adults reporting that they practice yoga in 2017. That’s up 4% compared with 2012’s numbers, which had only 10% of U.S. adults practicing yoga, and the numbers are only growing. If you’ve never done a child’s pose in your life and have been meaning to try it out, then here are five good reasons why you should start doing yoga today.
Yoga Helps You Sleep Better
If you’re a bit of an insomniac or simply want to sleep better, then you might want to incorporate yoga into your daily life. Research published in the United States National Library of Medicine found that insomniacs who began practicing yoga reported better sleep efficiency, total sleep time, total wake time, sleep onset latency, wake time after sleep onset, number of awakenings, and total sleep quality after 8 weeks of practice.
Yoga Makes You More Spiritual
As part meditation, it goes without saying that yoga makes you more spiritual. In a previous post, Jane Adamson briefly discussed the ways yoga contributes to better spiritual health and emotional wellness. According to her, yoga heals your body and mind, and allows you to enjoy stillness and surrender to the present. In the busy workaday world, learning to be still and spiritual is incredibly important, and may reduce stress in the long run.
Yoga Increases Flexibility
Ever had trouble touching your toes? Yoga will help you do just that. Yoga Journal states that although yoga is about more than just flexibility, it can certainly help limber up our muscles and tendons. It works on both increasing the elasticity of connective tissues, and addressing the “stretch reflex” and other functions of the involuntary nervous system. So if you were hoping to limber up, then this is the exercise for you.
Yoga is Good Strength Training
Unlike other exercise regimens, which target specific areas of the body, yoga helps you engage several muscle groups. The different poses strengthen and tone your body, and the long poses and continuous movements build cardiac health. Yoga uses the weight of your own body in order to build muscle mass and strength without unnecessary strain. Holding poses for long durations can also increase your endurance, making this a great workout for any type of athlete.
Yoga Can Help Relieve Pain
Finally, if you’ve had to struggle with joint or muscle pain, then yoga might offer you some relief. Harvard Medical School found that yoga can help relieve chronic pain, collecting research that showed yoga’s positive effects on people with arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraines, lower back pain, and other chronic pain conditions. The studies also found that practicing yoga improved psychosocial wellbeing.
If you’ve built an interest in yoga and have been wanting to try it out for some time, we’ve just listed five great reasons why you should do so here. So what are you waiting for? Pick up that yoga mat and start on your journey to a happier, healthier you.
James Gonzales is a Filipino-American travel enthusiast and writer currently based in the Philippines. After living and working in New York for 10 years, James decided he wanted to see more of the world and leave the city behind. In the course of saving up for what would become an epic trip across Asia, he wrote about previous traveling experiences for various travel websites and publications based in the Lower East Side.
James focused on journeying through the Philippines in the hopes of understanding his roots, and began Daydreaming in Paradise to share his thoughts and experiences. He’s always looking for like-minded travelers to trade stories and swap tips with, and he hopes you’ll join him on his journey.