As much as it is important to build strength as we age, it is just as important to maintain our mobility in our hips, ankles, hammies, etc.
And if you are not one to just stretch on your own, try adding yoga on any level to your routine. You will see great benefits ? not just in your body, but also in your mind.
Here are my top 3 reasons to add yoga to your routine:
Yoga Increases Range of Motion
You might?have a tight muscle group or two?most frequently the hamstrings, glutes, pecs, and shoulders. You may?not realize the limitations any of these place on your?ability to train through a full range of motion. The more you train them through a limited range of motion, the more limited you become as a lifter?and a functional human being.
A well-designed yoga class emphasizes moves that open up virtually all of these problem areas, because everyone can benefit from opening up their rounded shoulders and tight hips. Also, as we age our posture gets worse and yoga can help counteract sitting at a desk all day.
Yoga Quiets the Mind
A quiet mind is a clear mind. ?In yoga it is imperative to focus on your breath and stay in the present. ?This will help benefit you in all aspects of your life. Most people are also attached to their smart phones, and its a great way to escape from the day to day grind and attempt to quiet your mind from the outside. The more you practice yoga, the better you get at clearing your mind. It is truly?movement meditation. And we all know the benefits of meditation for stress relief.
Yoga Strengthens your Stabilizer Muscles
A lot of traditional lifting exercises like shoulder press and chest press neglect the small, stabilizing muscles that a yoga practice can help build. That?s why you will occasionally see a strong muscular guy get owned in a class full of small, less muscular women. Doing down dog, straight arm plank (or side plank), and warrior variations can help strengthen the smaller muscles (rotator cuff, erector spinae ? low/mid back) that get neglected by traditional lifting.
Yoga Improves Balance
Balance often gets neglected in the weight/cardio room, but in yoga it is incorporated into most practices. This will improve your?neuromuscular coordination. Basically, it helps improve the communication between your brain and muscles. It helps with muscle isolation, too. During balance training, you have to maintain stabilization. You are forced to engage an individual muscle so that you are not using other muscles to help you ?cheat.? With single leg-type balance exercises, your glute medius is engaged and worked. Therefore, this helps with hip stabilization and core stabilization, improving your coordination and posture.
I prefer warm/hot yoga because it helps to get into the poses (injury prevention). Getting a good sweat helps rid the body of toxins.
I recommend going at your own pace, and don?t compare your practice to others in the class ? that is when you can get hurt.
So give it a go, and let me know how it goes.?
I have heard every excuse in the world. People blame their kids, dogs, or lack of energy to name a few. But the bottom line is those excuses should be reasons why they workout in the first place. People who already make working out a part of their routine usually stick to a certain time every week. But for individuals who tend to find excuses for working out, they should do it first thing in the morning. The key is to commit to it before you go to bed, with workout clothes ready to go.
Here are 5 reasons to set that alarm a bit earlier?
1. ?Fewer Distractions
Getting up earlier sounds tedious but once you get it in your routine it will be easier. ?Less cars, phone calls, texts, people and most importantly less time to make an excuse.
2. ?Jumpstarts Your Metabolism
Your metabolism will only get a boost for the rest of the day if you take part in resistance training to build muscle. As muscle tissue requires more calories to maintain than fat, your metabolic rate will be kicked into a much higher gear.
3. ?Helps Improve Your Efficiency at Work
Sharper, clearer mind, and more alert. ?Getting a task like working out done right away sets you up for a productive day.
4. ?Builds Self Confidence and Improves Energy
Every workout session takes you one step closer to the ideal look you want to have for yourself, making you feel as good on the inside as you do on the outside. ?It may seem counter intuitive, but researchers say expending energy by engaging in regular exercise may pay off with increased energy in the long run. ?The best time to workout is when you are tired and don?t want to.
5. ?Have Time for Family and/or Socializing After Work
Getting that workout done in the morning leaves your afternoon and evening open to spend time socializing with friends or hanging with your family. Being able to spend time with family should be a good enough excuse to workout in the morning.
As we age, it?s important to find ways to maintain joint health and stay in shape! Playing basketball is fun and a good workout, but eventually we all get too old, and the last thing we want to do is get injured. So what is a healthy alternative?!? You guessed it? swimming! All you need is a Speedo, some goggles, and a well-maintained pool. If you don?t know how to swim, it?s never too late to learn.
But why swimming?!? ?Well, here are 5 reasons to jump in:
1. ?Builds Cardio Fitness without Overheating
It engages every muscle in the body, including the heart, and improves blood circulation. This is among the few aerobic exercises that can burn a lot of calories without putting too much pressure on the limbs. Further, swimming tends to engage a large number of calories per stroke.
2. ?Reduces Stress and Clears the Mind
Everybody is always attached to their phones even when they are in the gym working out. ?Well there is none of that while swimming ? no texting, Facebooking, Snapchatting ? just you and the water. ?How refreshing!?? Also, splashing through the water tends to engage our bodies and minds, which induces the release of endorphins (your body?s feel-good hormones that help neutralize depression).
3. ?Improves Flexibility & Mobility
Most of us don?t do any stretching and end up losing our mobility as we age. ?Well swimming not only works our muscles but also stretches muscle fibers and ligaments. ?Reaching, stretching, twisting and pulling your way through the water is a great way to stretch without even realizing you are doing it.
4. ?Builds Most Muscle Groups
Swimming recruits all major muscle groups, including shoulders, back, abs, hips, and glutes. Water provides 12 times the resistance as air in every direction and helps build overall physical conditioning while being easy on the joints. I believe a combination of weights and swimming provides great balance for your joints.
5. ?Swimming Surpasses Limitations of Age, Availability and/or Serious Illness (might help you live longer too!)
You can swim your whole life, and it is equally suited for small children and elderly. ?South Carolina researchers followed 40,547 adults ages 20 to 90 for more than 3 decades and discovered that swimmers ? regardless of age ? were about 50% less likely to die during the study than were sofa sitters, walkers, and runners. (source: Prevention Magazine) ?Also, a person with physical disabilities can do water-based exercises they couldn?t do on land.
Are those enough reasons to grab a suit, goggles, and about 30 minutes of your time? ?Trust me ? give it a go and your body will thank you!?