6 Reasons Why Men Should Do Yoga
For years I always thought of Yoga as a form of fitness where people perform excess amounts of stretches and breathing. I generally thought that Yoga was something that was not meant for me as a male, but was for the smaller framed skinnier ladies in our society. This view of mine was later changed after I recovered from a shoulder injury and was looking for alternative methods to stay fit and be active. That is when a friend of mine told me to try hot yoga as she loved it and always felt she got a great workout. As skeptical I was at first, I soon became hooked and have been practicing all different styles of Yoga for years now. So to help other men who might be as skeptical as I was about yoga, I have written this article to help change your mind.
Core Strength - A solid core is important for nearly all sports and fitness. It’s also important for all things we do throughout the day that requires balance and stabilization. Yoga movements such as the Warrior series help you build a solid core and stabilization. It also teaches how to breathe deeper from our center while the body is in motion or being held a particular position such as a high plank with one leg raised. Lastly a strong core is believed to help with lower back pain. It is suggested that by working out the deep and superficial core muscles will lead to an improvement in posture thus reducing back pain.
Helps with Stress
The daily grind and pressures of life can get to anyone. Finding ways to relieve stress is important and calming poses and workouts of yoga can help. Many males feel they should “just deal with it”, and this is not the proper mind set to have. Studies have shown exercise helps with relieve stress and the social part of taking part in a fitness class can help as well.
Here is a one particular study journal in PubMed if you wish to read it. Effects of yoga on stress management in healthy adults: A systematic review". There are others but you can find and read them on your own.
Yoga has a surprising way of increasing muscles you might not normally be using in what many men do as a traditional form of exercising. This in turn improves performance in many of the things you do in life and in sport. I have noticed this to be especially true with core and spinal muscle development and have assisted in many tasks that require more stability and endurance through out the body.
Cardiovascular Improvement - Proper breathing and knowledge of deep diaphragm breathing dates back for generation with Yoga, however it is something that we are just beginning to look at more deeply in sport physiology or bio mechanics. This deep breath that is practice not only allows you to learn to breath while moving, but it also helps you to learn to breath deep full breaths when needed to help you control your bodies breathing rate. You can also do forms of Yoga like Power Yoga were you are given very little time to move from one pose to another. This causes you heart rate to go up and you can tell your getting a good cardiovascular workout.
Increase Range of Motion - We all could improve our range of motion that is usually effected by our life style such as sitting in front of a computer for long hours. A loss of flexibility can not only decrease total power output but also limit you in your range of motion at various joints. With proper routine practice of Yoga you should be able to recover most of your range of motion loss. This is usually most noticeable in the chest and hamstrings of men.
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