In my last post on fitness I gave a list of reasons for getting up and getting your body moving. Starting with the last item on that list, I want to do a little more cheer-leading to get you to roll out a mat and do some stretching.
You don’t have to leave your house, you don’t have to go to a class, you can make it very simple but the benefits of yoga-like stretching are worth 30 minutes of your time each day. I do my yoga in the morning by using the lessons I have recorded on my DVR. But maybe you would enjoy the social experience and challenge of a class. Yoga classes are everywhere. My local athletic club offers yoga classes and a power stretching class. Let’s face it; most warm-up and stretching exercises are derived from yoga.
Less injury – Yoga is low impact. It prevents injury by warming up muscles and joints so you are better prepared for other activities. The key to yoga is to go at your own pace and not to over reach yourself; to breathe deeply and relax into each movement and pose. Everyone’s flexibility is different. You learn to be more in tune with your own body’s needs and abilities.
Better balance – As we age we are more prone to falling accidents because we tend to stop doing things that require balance. We tend to cut back and reduce our efforts. Yoga poses challenge you to engage in positions that will improve your stability and reduce mishaps.
Better agility – We have lived busy lives constantly working and taking care of a family. We have not always consistently maintained the kind of athletic activities that keep our bodies supple. Yoga will push you to be more youthful in your approach to life.
Strength and stamina – Yoga builds and strengthens muscle using positions in a greater variety than you would normally use while lifting weights. Thus muscles you might otherwise neglect will be strengthened and when muscles are stronger you have more stamina.