February 12, 2015 by Dr. Sana Keller
As a Cancer Survivor Coach, the subject of making exercise part of a daily routine (or a workout, as I like to call it!) is a major discussion point with clients. Even if you are following a regular workout schedule (and GOOD FOR YOU if you are!!), please keep reading, since following the same exercise routine every day may not be providing you with the best possible results. Varying workout routines not only reduces boredom–it also can provide greater health benefits. Including aerobic or HIIT (high intensity interval training) sessions, resistance/weight training and yoga sessions in your weekly schedule can positively impact your body (and thus your health!) on many levels, including strength, flexibility and stress management.
For those of you who have yet to experience yoga, please keep reading! The health benefits of yoga just keep rolling in…from relieving chronic back pain…reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety…increasing nerve function in Type 2 diabetics with mild nerve damage…improving blood sugar control and pulmonary function…decreasing hot flashes up to 30% in menopausal women…reducing the effects of stress…promoting weight loss…lowering blood pressure, cholesterol levels and resting heart rate…improving coordination…increasing energy levels and improving quality of life in cancer survivors…experiencing less physical discomfort and stress in women with breast cancer…to reducing inflammation…
Wait—there’s more–too much for one paragraph! Yoga is also helpful in building muscle strength…improving flexibility and posture…preventing cartilage and joint breakdown…protecting your spine, warding off osteoporosis…increasing blood flow…boosting immunity by increasing lymph drainage…lowering cortisol levels (this is HUGE!)…improving our mood and our focus…promoting deeper sleep…improving overall balance…and easing pain from arthritis, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome and other chronic conditions. And this isn’t an exhaustive list…just enough to provide a major WOW Factor!
Yoga can provide immense health benefits for most people–even those of you who have never owned yoga pants or don’t have the foggiest idea of what ‘Down Dog’ means. The practice of yoga is just that…a practice, meaning that it’s not a competition–or something a person needs to be accomplished at before taking a class.
We’re all at different points in our yoga practice…with some as flexible as a warm pretzel while others as stiff as a dry twig…some very familiar with the names of all the yoga poses while others asking Sukha-what? or Utkatasana-wha??…and some more comfortable with chair yoga while others can’t wait for the next hot yoga class.
My office is right around the corner from a great new yoga studio, YogifyU, that offers a wide variety classes, including hot yoga. Taking a friend with you is a great way to check out a yoga group class if it seems a bit intimidating. Practicing yoga in a group setting can be very inspiring and motivating!
Yet, even if you live out in the boonies…or are ‘snowed in’ for a few days…or don’t have a cool yoga studio nearby, you can still benefit from yoga with one of the many Yoga DVD’s available. Below are just a few of some highly rated DVD’s:
- For beginners, this is a great DVD to start with. Another great beginner yoga DVD.
- For those of you over 50 years old, here is one designed with you in mind.
- This one is especially gentle for the 40 to 70+ year-olds.
- For those of you with aching backs, this one is designed for people just like you.
- For those of you ready for more of a challenge, check out this one or this one.
- For those of you ‘expecting’, here is a prenatal yoga DVD.
Ready to schedule some yoga into your workout schedule? It’s time…to enjoy the many benefits that yoga offers…Shoot for at least once or twice a week for starters!
Please share your favorite yoga DVD in the comments below!
To your ever-improving health,
Sana Keller, PhD, RN, CNC Health Unlimited LLC
Photo credits: huffingtonpost.com, itoldyouiwassick.info, active.com, imgarcade.com, yuvanyoga.com, blog.visitminot.org, tampabay.com