Health benefits of Yoga

Yoga is a practice based on the energies that move our body and lift our spirit. The poses it promotes are amazing for the body as they help you feel more relaxed and teach you to live in the now, with mindfulness and attention towards your body.

This may actually be the reason why Yoga is just catching on to us now. The Western practice was always more oriented towards practical results and the idea of prana or energy was not something we could easily accept. However, things are different now and we’re starting to open up so, let’s see which are the actual health benefits that yoga brings into our lives.

Great flexibility and balance

yogaYoga is great for increasing flexibility and improving your general balance. I believe you know that, as we grow old, our joints and limbs start to feel stiff and moving becomes a bit more difficult each year. Well, with a regular Yoga practice you won’t have to worry about this anymore.

Most poses are designed to make your joints stronger and more flexible and, in time, you’ll be able to practice unusual poses that don’t seem possible to the regular Joe.

Even more, Yoga is known to help you reduce the level of stress in your life. It’s a practice that focuses on the now and teaches you that you can find a few minutes every day to take care of yourself. Life goes on either way.

It boosts the immune system

It may seem unbelievable, but there are studies that show Yoga produces changes at a cellular level when it comes to immunity. The fact that you learn how to breathe better and the general circulation is increased, lead to a boost in general health.

The best part is that you will feel the difference in just a few weeks of regular practice. Yoga makes you feel better and brings harmony between our internal organs.

Quick tip: the best pose for a health boost is the Sun Salutation series.

Improved sleep and sexual performance

There are specific poses, but in general Yoga increases blood circulation in the genital area and strengthens the muscles in the pelvic floor.

The increased blood circulation and the general state of good in the body lead to a boost in sexual desire and general attraction. Also, because the practice teaches us to focus on breathing and forget about the rest of the world, people who have trouble sleeping will learn how to relax. This improves the general sleep quality.

 

How to stay healthy and fit

Many tend to believe that, to be fit, you have to change who you are. You need to keep a drastic diet or start working out like you never did before. Well, this is completely false. We are creatures of habit, and to stay healthy and fit, we need to create new habits. It’s the little things that we do every day that stick with us. So, we have to slowly implement elements that lead to a healthy lifestyle.  Let’s see the most important ones.

Include physical activity in your life

healthy_fit_sportsIf you’re more of a couch potato who never finds time for sports then it will be difficult. Not impossible, but difficult. It’s better to start with a half an hour daily and move on from there. This half an hour can be spent however you like (doing sports of course). You can choose to go to the gym, walk in the park, ride a bike, or take dance lessons. Everything that gets you up and moving is useful.

Specialists say it takes 21 days to form a habit so it’s crucial to stick with your program in the first month. Once the body is used to activity at a certain hour, it will ask for it. You’ll start to miss the movement and you’ll learn to enjoy it.

Watch what you eat

This applies both literally and figuratively! Don’t eat in front of a TV or your computer. You’ll get distracted and you won’t process the information the right way. Our brain needs 20 minutes to process hunger and if you finish your meal in 10, you’ll have 10 extra minutes to over eat.

Also, try to eat as many unprocessed foods as possible. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, natural oils and seeds are the best choice.

Get outside

Studies have shown that we actually love to be outside. Stress levels are reduced, we get more relaxed, and we enjoy being in nature. Yet, we have a nasty habit of staying inside and living our lives between several walls.

It’s time to take a walk in the park, go for a hike, or simply sit by the lake and admire Mother Nature. We live in a fantastic world and we choose to ignore it. And this in spite of the fact that bonding with plants and trees relaxes us and helps us create.

If you want a happy, healthy life you also need love, music, and a hobby that gets you out of work. We were not designed to work all day long and this is showing in our current state of health. In a nutshell, we need the simple things in life to stay healthy and fit.

Mental benefits of sports

We all know that saying, “A healthy mind in a healthy body”, right? Well this is the best way to sum up the benefits sports have over our brain. Regardless of the type of physical activity you practice, your mind will reap the benefits.

First of all, if you start a new activity, you will create new neuronal connections to learn it. If, on the other hand, you restart an activity you used to practice, you reactivate those connections. And, according to science, the more active connections, the better. But let’s take a more detailed look at how sports help us get smarter.

Increased self-confidence

confidenceYour body will change if you practice sports. You’ll be better shaped, your muscles will be toned, and your level of fat will decrease. This will get you closer to what is perceived as being the ideal body shape in our modern times. So, in not so many words, you’ll look better.

With the improved body aspect you will also get to be more focused, goal-oriented, and more determined. All these are traits that say you are an attractive individual and you’ll be accepted easier by other people. This will boost your confidence level sky high.

You’re in a better mood

Remember how good it feels immediately after a good run? Or how relaxed you are after a session of fitness? Physical activity stimulates the release of endorphins which trigger relaxation and elevate the mood. It was also proved by scientific studies that physical activity helps in reducing stress and depression.

Even more, team sports provide you with a higher endorphin rush as it gives you the satisfaction of participating in a social event. It also improves your social skills and the way you connect with other people.

You can become a leader

You know how some people seem to be natural leaders? While there are indeed people who seem born for leading, you can develop these abilities through sports. The best to develop these traits are team sports like basketball, soccer, baseball, and others. You learn to adopt the team mindset and this will help you be more involved at work and in social situations.

Team sports are also great to reduce the level of anxiety. You learn your actions matter in a social group and it will be easier to create connections with your team mates.

As you can see, sports are extremely benefic for the mind so you shouldn’t ignore this aspect of your life.

Which sports are good for your health

Physical activity is an important part of our lives and we should not ignore it. We are beings designed to move and challenge ourselves, not couch potatoes! Scientific studies proved over and over again that sports play an important role in our level of health (mental and physical). The best part is that we have lots of opportunities.

Sports in general are amazing to practice, but there are some that help you achieve maximum benefits. These are the ones we’ll discuss today so continue reading if you want to improve your health.

Tennis

 

tennis sports

This is a social sport where you can meet new people or strengthen the bonds with your current friends. It has a direct impact on your social life and your level of optimism and self-esteem. Even more, tennis involves tactical thinking which may lead to developing new connections in the brain. This means you’ll be smarter and quicker in taking decisions in your day-to-day life.

And, if you needed more convincing, competitive tennis is more active than aerobic, thus you’ll burn more calories.

Cycling

 

cycling

You don’t need to be a professional cyclist to benefit out of this amazing sport. Besides the fact that it is fun, you can practice it with friends. Even more, cycling is recommended if you are recovering from an injury due to its low impact on joints and tendons.

Otherwise, it helps you improve circulation, works out most muscle groups and increases strength and stamina. The best part with cycling is that it can be as intense as you want it to be. Even more, you don’t have to make extra time for it – you can use the bike to get to work.

Jogging/ Running

 

jogging

Both these sports imply an aerobic exercise and work the heart muscle. The main difference is in intensity and burned calories. As you expect, running is more intense and puts more effort on the heart and legs. So, you can practice the one that fits your current level of fitness and state of health.

Both running and jogging help build strong bones, strengthen your muscles, and keep the heart healthy. Even more, since you’re working with your own weight, it is a fantastic way to get fit and lose weight.

Swimming

 

swimming

Swimming is one of the most recommended activities by doctors and nutritionists. Also, it is great to start as a child because this activity helps in developing a harmonious body and maintaining a good muscle tone over the years.

If you’re looking for an all body workout, this sport is great. It helps you build strength, keeps your heart and lungs healthy, and helps you maintain a healthy weight.

Of course, the list could go on, but these are some of the most recommended sports if you want to stay healthy and don’t want to be crammed up in the gym every day.