Yoga for Mental and Physical HealthPosted: March 25, 2014 in Getting Active by Craig Primack MD FACP
As you begin your medical weight loss program, your Scottsdale Weight Loss doctor will recommend that you start implementing exercise into your daily routine. Low impact activities, such as walking, swimming and yoga are great ways to get active without being overly difficult or physically demanding. Yoga, particularly, has many mental health benefits that other forms of exercise can’t always offer, making it an excellent choice as you lose weight in Scottsdale and Chandler.
What Is Yoga?
Yoga is a mind and body exercise, consisting of stretching, holding poses and breathing exercises. It’s an accessible form of exercise that you can perform at your own pace. Yoga is about more than just working out; it promotes overall health and wellness through its breathing and meditative practices.
- Yoga poses. Yoga poses—also called postures—are movements and stretching positions designed to increase your strength, flexibility and balance.
- Breathing exercises. Yoga teaches that controlled breathing helps align the mind and the body. Yoga breathing exercises can be relaxing and don’t necessarily have to be practiced along with yoga poses.
Benefits of Yoga
While yoga doesn’t always have as much calorie-burning-potential as aerobic exercises like running, it can still help you lose weight and benefit your overall health.
Some of the physical and mental health benefits of yoga may include:
- Improved posture
- Alleviated neck, back and shoulder pain
- Improve digestion through stretching
- Strength and muscle training
- Increased flexibility
- Increased stamina
- Reduced stress levels
- Enhanced mood
- Improved anxiety
How to Get Started
One way to begin is by signing up for a yoga class. While yoga is accessible to beginners, the various aspects of it may seem overwhelming, so if you decide to take a class, try to find a good instructor with whom you feel comfortable. If you aren’t comfortable going to a yoga class, there are many at-home resources that you can take advantage of, such as YouTube videos or entire beginner yoga courses on DVD.
As you try to find the best yoga class and routine during your medical weight loss program, be sure to keep your own needs in mind. More physical routines, such as ones requiring difficult poses, are great for weight loss, but simple yoga practices, such as breathing exercises, may be better if you’re just looking for stress relief.