The 8 Biggest Fitness Benefits Of Practicing Yoga

Yoga is a popular practice that many people are familiar with. It is constantly advertised and featured in many different magazines, websites and social media platforms. Yet, there are still some people who see yoga as a practice that only involves posing and stretching.

When yoga is properly practiced, it can improve your physical performance starting from your endurance, to speed and power. These physical improvements promote weight loss, wellness and overall good health. Yoga is useful whatever your profession as it can reduce stress. If you are a banker or real estate broker in Chicago, you can use yoga to release some of this stress.

Business owners know about this and some even organize free classes for their employees, like Kale Realty to name just one. If you want to learn more about it, read below about some of the many benefits that yoga can provide to your health.

It Elevates Your Athletic Performance

Seeing yoga videos will likely make you skeptical about its benefits on your athletic performance. After all, it is not like running or interval training where you have to lift weights and run long distances.

Yoga is not purely about poses and stretching. Some styles also involve hill sprints, sandbag training and sometimes, sledgehammer work (for advanced classes). The point of using yoga as a part of a healthy lifestyle is it enhances your fitness training but does not replace it.

This means yoga helps correct your posture, improve flexibility, heighten body awareness and educate body mechanics.

By adding this ancient practice to any workout program, you can make your fitness or weight loss training more efficient and effective by producing faster and more visible results.

It Promotes Hip Hinge Movement

Hikers, runners and crossfitters are people who utilize their hip hinge movements – the flexion and extension of your hip joints and muscles.

What yoga does is it provides a full range of hip movements and lessen the chances of getting injured while working out. Because yoga poses and stretches also keep your hip muscles loose, your body can properly hold your entire weight and keep you stabilized.

It Improves Your Endurance

Yoga is known to enhance blood circulation, digestion and motion range. These benefits further improve your endurance and help you sustain your exercise plan for the weeks or months to come.

The breathing techniques taught also help you control your respiration while in motion. This is why many long distance runners and sprinters apply yoga as an extra training plan. It opens their respiratory system and teaches them how to control the air they breathe in and out.

It Makes You Stronger

Muscle strength is incredibly important in becoming physically fit. Just like speed, it is related to correct body mechanics. When your body holds correct postures and the muscles are properly aligned, it transmits more force for you to perform better on your exercise routine.

Body alignment is one of the major lessons you learn from yoga. As this helps you control the output of your energy, yoga directly helps you throw, punch and jump more explosively.

It Improves The Lymphatic System

As mentioned above, yoga helps improve your body’s circulation, making it an efficient form of lymphatic detox. The twisting poses are known to help stimulate your glands and flush out your toxins. Its meditative aspect also promotes body and mind relaxation by eliminating stress.

It Prevents Injury

For a professional athlete, or a person who is trying to lose weight with a deadline, injury can stall and even stump progress. Body awareness and mechanics are just two benefits that yoga possesses to prevent injuries.

In turn, the longevity of your fitness routine goes on and allows your body to go through a consistent progress.

It Hastens Recovery

As stated earlier, yoga has a positive effect on your lymphatic system. Apart from flushing out the toxins of your body, enhanced lymphatic system circulation actually allows your muscles to process the metabolic byproducts produced from working out. This means healing time and muscle cell repair also speeds up.

It Targets Focus

The most important benefit of yoga is its dramatic effects on your mental clarity and focus. These matter because even the most disciplined professional athlete have the tendency to slip up and go off course.

When you look at the world of sports, every athlete trains extremely hard. They need mindfulness, body awareness and focus to take their performance output and bring it to the next level.

This goes the same with people who are trying to lose weight. As their exercise routine continues and their fitness level increases, they need to bring their performance one or two steps forward.

Yoga is a popular multipurpose practice that is often overlooked by many people. If you incorporate it as a part of your weight loss or fitness program, you will find yourself more flexible, balanced, stronger and leaner.

Try to sign up for a yoga class today so that you can explore what it can do for you. If you are still unsure about it, you can search for websites that offer introductory lessons on yoga and how you can use it to your advantage.

Injuries That Cause an Ankle Sprain


Ankle sprains are the most common sports injuries but can also happen during normal daily activities. An ankle sprain happens when the ankle joint, which connects the bones of the lower leg with the foot, is injured. The ligaments surrounding the ankle are stretched or torn when you accidentally twist or turn your ankle in an unnatural way.

There are two types of ankle injuries: inversion and eversion injuries. Inversion injuries are the most common and happen when the foot rolls inward. Eversion injuries, on the other hand, don’t occur often. It is also known as a high ankle sprain and happens when the foot twists outward.

Causes of an Ankle Sprain

A sprain occurs when the ligaments of your ankle are forced to stretch beyond their normal range of motion. This forces your ankle joint out of its normal position, turning the foot inward or inverted. Ankle sprains can happen to anyone irrespective of age. This kind of injury often happens in the following ways:

Stepping on an uneven surface – walking or running on irregular surfaces like an uneven terrain or a field with holes, can cause you to twist your ankle.

Awkwardly landing on your foot – you can twist your ankle when jumping or pivoting, stepping up or down, running, or when doing simple tasks like getting out of bed.

Participating in sports – you can twist your ankle when participating in sports activities that require rolling, jumping, cutting action or twisting of the foot. These include playing soccer, basketball, football, tennis, and trail running. Also, someone could step or land on your foot when playing. You are taking a risk with sports ankle support.

Engaging in physical activity or doing exercises – you can sprain your ankle when exercising, running, hiking or climbing.

Wearing improper shoes – ill-fitting shoes or shoes that aren’t fit for physical activity like high-heels can cause you to twist your ankle.

How to Know if You Have an Ankle Sprain

When you sprain your ankle, tissues surrounding the ankle are injured which causes inflammation. Depending on the severity of the injury you will experience pain especially when you try to stand on the affected foot. You may also experience swelling, bruising and tenderness as well as instability in the ankle and a restricted range of motion.

Home Treatments for an Ankle Sprain

In most cases, an ankle sprain isn’t severe. However, before making any home care decisions, it is advisable to speak to your doctor first.  If you have a mild sprain, you may be able to treat it at home.  The RICE method is the recommended way of dealing with a sprained ankle at home.  RICE stands for rest, ice, compress and elevate.

 Rest – you need to rest your ankle and avoid putting any weight on your foot. If you don’t want to limp or hop around, you can use crutches.

Ice – For the first two days after injury, ice your ankle for 20 to 30 minutes every day to reduce swelling.

Compress – wrap the ankle gently, not tightly. You can use an elastic bandage or wear a brace to support the ankle

Elevate – for the first 48 hours, raise your foot higher than your heart when lying down to increase blood flow.

When to See a Doctor

Go to the emergency room if you are in a lot of pain, bleeding, and the ankle is severely swollen, numb or has changed color. If your ankle seems dislocated or deformed and you can’t put any weight on it, you should see a doctor.

Spraining your ankle is painful and can take a while to heal. So be careful when exercising, wear the correct shoes for an activity, pay attention to surfaces you are walking on and warm up before exercising. If you sprain your ankle, be sure to call your doctor because if left untreated, an ankle sprain can lead to instability and long-term pain.

Best Forms of Exercise in Your Forties

According to recent research results, a person’s 45th year is a critical time as far as decline in health is concerned. People who do not take care of their health by choosing to eat junk food and maintaining a sedentary lifestyle are more likely to develop complications by the time they reach the age of 45 and older. In some extreme cases, health decline may even occur at an earlier age. Also, according to World Health Organization, 45 is the start of middle age.

(Source: http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/142057/Fitness-How-to-stay-fit-in-your-forties)

People who do not change lifestyle habits to slow down the body’s natural decline are at a higher risk of diabetes, heart problems, and certain forms of cancer. As it is the time when there is a decrease in muscle mass and fat deposits start to build-up, it is important to have a few regular workouts that can be integrated into your busy schedule.

  • TRX Training – The best thing about this trainer is that it is simply made of nylon straps with handles. It can be easily packed in a small bag so you can attach it through a tree or a door. It’s a simple, but very useful tool as it can be used to perform full-body exercises almost anywhere. As for the intensity of this workout, this trainer also allows you to progress slowly to avoid injuries.

Most people in their forties have stayed long enough in their office spaces sitting in front of the computer that their range of motion and flexibility are limited. This trainer addresses that problem.

  • Tai Chi – Beginning a new exercise routine after years of being sedentary is not an easy task. This is why the gentle and meditative movements of tai chi is great for people who are struggling with starting a new workout routine. Studies have backed its benefits in lowering blood pressure and stress while improving balance and mental focus.

A lot of people above 40 have not done any form of exercise in years. If this is the case, jumping into extreme exercise will have adverse effects. Tai chi offers enough challenge for beginners and provides positive effects to the mind and body.

  • Pilates – This exercise became popular among celebrities for a reason. It is a full body workout that improves strength and flexibility. To top it off, the philosophy to which the founder of this exercise adheres to fits middle aged people. According to Joseph Pilates, it is better to have few exercises that have been executed properly than going for more repetitions until the muscle fibers break down.
  • Yoga – Aside from helping retain flexibility and balance, yoga has been proven to have mental benefits as well. It is great for stress management, muscle and joint fluidity, and building and maintaining strength.
  • Stand-Up Paddle Boarding – According to stand-up paddle boarding instructors, this activity accomplishes three must-haves for a physical activity. One, it provides mental stimulation as you have to navigate your way. Second, it meets most people’s level of physical fitness as it is not an arduous type of workout. And finally, it can be easily integrated to your lifestyle given that it is technically leisurely paddling.

Aside from these workouts, people in their forties are advised to practice active living. One way of doing this is to rely less on cars for transportation and opt for auto-free ways such as biking or walking whenever possible.

One way of looking at this period is by taking it as an opportunity to involve the whole family into your fitness routine. Going for quick walks with your pet, biking with your spouse and children, and spending a weekend with friends paddle boarding are some of the things you can do to stay fit and connected with your family and friends.