5 Ways Yoga Benefits Your Fitness Routine
Over 36 million Americans regularly practice yoga, making it one of the most popular extracurricular activities.
Despite this, many people have a false belief that yoga is nothing more than an intensive breathing exercise with little necessity in an athlete’s regimen.
The truth is that yoga is one of the most important keys to ensuring longevity in fitness. Lifting weights and playing sports are fun, but the wear and tear on our muscles and joints is largely ignored. Recovery, though an essential pillar of fitness, is often the one that receives the smallest amount of attention.
Something as simple as adding two 30-minute yoga sessions a week to your fitness routine could reap huge rewards. And you don’t need to be a professional athlete to enjoy them.
Here are 5 ways that yoga can compliment your fitness routine, regardless of what it entails.
Increased Range of Motion
Many people struggle to perform certain lifts because their body lacks the mobility to use proper form. This is especially true for compound lifts like the squat, which involves your quadriceps, hip adductors, and much more.
Yoga specifically aims to increase your flexibility, thus ensuring that you can perform the exercise how it is meant to be done. Not only that, but some studies show that the elongation of the muscle that happens during yoga can actually increase strength output.
2. Decreased Chance of Injury
Lifting weights is fun, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, you have a better chance of injury. Outside of accidentally dropping a 45 pound plate on your big toe, many lifts can cause serious damage if done incorrectly.
As mentioned in the previous point, yoga will help to increase your flexibility and range of motion. This increase will in turn help prevent your body from finding itself in unnatural or potentially dangerous positions while executing a lift.
The same goes for sports.
Whether it’s MMA or football, being more flexible will allow you to get into some funky positions and come out unscathed. Yoga will not only elongate your muscles, but the holds performed in a yoga class will also strengthen tendons and joints.
Big hits in football involve everything from tendons to muscles.
Making sure all of these are strengthened through performing yoga keeps you in the game.
3. Improved Recovery
Yoga is a great way to decompress the body after a tough workout.
When we lift intensely, lactic acid starts to build up in our muscles, causing soreness, stiffness, and general discomfort.
Many of the stretches in yoga are low-stress, but they are enough to start flushing out this lactic acid from our muscles, getting us back to training quicker.
A yoga class is a great break in a strenuous fitness routine. After a couple days of wearing down your body, a light yoga workout can increase blood flow, increase flexibility, and build muscle endurance.
All of this equals a decrease in recovery time and an increase in intensity.
4. Mental Relief
One of the most under appreciated benefits of yoga is the mental relief. Modern life is hectic, with social media and different screens constantly blaring in our face.
A yoga class gives us the opportunity to tune out all the noise and focus on the present. Just us and our bodies.
Deep breathing is proven to reduce stress and anxiety in people.
For some, working out isn’t enough. They need the added mental relaxation that comes from practicing yoga.
Maybe you do too.
5. Better Breathing Habits
Breathing while working out can be awkward, but it is essential to achieving maximum performance. The more movement you do, the more oxygen your body requires.
Often you will see someone performing a high rep set of an exercise without breathing, their face completely red by the end and their form deteriorating throughout.
Practicing yoga will help make sure that you’ll never be that guy.
Yoga helps teach you how to breathe deeply while performing difficult exercise. It may take a while to get the hang of it, but this practice is vital to ensuring that you properly supply your body with oxygen as you workout, allowing you to get the best results possible.
We at O Athletik understand the importance of recovery in an athlete’s routine. We will always try to push your physical limits, but we also want you to be able to walk the next day.
Thankfully, we offer several different types of yoga classes at our gym.
To see the different classes we offer, make sure to check your O Athletik app or see the full schedule by clicking here.
See you in the yoga room!