Yoga is widely embraced as a complementary activity by athletes from a wide variety of sports, including basketball, football, and triathletes. Just a few celebrity athletes who regularly practice this millenary activity include LeBron James, Steven Jackson, and Blake Griffin. Yoga is known to help quell pain and boost strength and flexibility, but it can also increase your fitness and boost endurance. Read on to discover how you can help you perform your very best at your next fitness boot camp.
Yoga Boosts Overall Fitness
There are many types of yoga, some of which are more active (such as Vinyasa or power yoga). In US Federal exercise guidelines, these yoga styles are considerate moderate-to-intense. However, even less active forms of yoga (such as Hatha yoga) have been found in numerous studies to boost muscle strength, in addition to flexibility and balance. It is easy to see how all these qualities are necessary as you complete the various components of fitness and bootcamp-style activities.
Yoga Benefits Heart Health
A study published in the International Journal of Medical Engineering and Informatics has found that heart rate variability (a sign of heart health) is higher in people who perform yoga. Heart rate variability can be understood as a way to measure the balance between the two different nervous systems (the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems). When heart rate variability is high, it means that the heart is ready to respond to changes and perform its best when you are undertaking physical challenges such as working out.
Yoga and Endurance
Research published in the International Journal of Yoga indicates that yoga improves muscular strength and endurance, and improves the maximum uptake and utilisation of oxygen during sport or exercise. One of the most important reasons for the rise in endurance, is the importance given to controlled breathing. In Hatha yoga, for instance, individuals learn to consciously prolong inhalation, breath retention, and exhalation. This enables them to use oxygen more efficiently so that the body does not need to take blood from the skeletal muscles. In this way, leg fatigue can be reduced during workouts and competitions.
Instructing Others in Yoga
Those who are dedicated to training others (including personal trainers and team leaders) should consider professional yoga and controlled breathing training as a means to obtain the most from their clients or colleagues. Some courses, like SOMA Breath training, incorporate elements from other holistic activities, including yoga, mindfulness meditation, music, and movement. Adding elements like music can boost motivation and attract those who are new to yoga and pranayamic (controlled) breathing.
Yoga Can Boost Your Mood
Sticking to a fitness routine can help if you feel positive and motivated. Yoga has been found in numerous studies to improve mood and reduce anxiety. As reported in the peer-reviewed Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, yoga increases levels of GABA – a brain chemical that helps regulate the nerves. In people with anxiety and mood disorders, GABA activity tends to be low. Yoga ca help increase this activity, resulting in positive changes in one’s mental state.
Yoga is a useful activity regardless of what type of sport or fitness program you practice. It increases strength and flexibility, as well as endurance. One important aspect of yoga is breath control, which helps increases endurance in athletes and those who partake in physical activity.