Monday, 12 October 2015
Yoga beats the exercise plateau
Sitting is the new smoking
Slumping on the sofa in the same position for hours every night not only creates a you-shaped dent in the sofa, it can weaken your core and back muscles. Add to that sitting at your desk for 8 hours, holding a phone to your ear all day...repeated over days, weeks, months, these positions can create stiffness and weakness in your body.
Recent press has hailed sitting as the new smoking. A tad dramatic...?
Our sedentary tendencies are not necessarily our fault - thousands of years of evolution have formed our human nature to conserve energy. Just as we are 'programmed' to hold on to fat, be greedy and fight/flight. Think cavemen.
However, blaming our lazy tendencies on evolution doesn't really solve the problem of not moving our bodies enough. Although we may not necessarily relish the thought of getting off our backside, it is rather important.
Headaches, neck and backache are a few of the more common symptoms of inactivity.
But I do exercise!
When you first start an exercise program/activity your body changes and you often notice muscle tone and weight loss.
Fast forward 6 months and you may notice the benefits have halted. If you do the same exercise over and over again, whether that be at the gym, in a studio or on a pitch, your body becomes used to the activity and, often, the physical benefits plateau. Indeed the exercise plateau is a well-documented and researched phenomenon. But what to do about it?
Shake up your routine. Mix up your moves.
There are hundreds of yoga poses. As you progress from a beginner, you begin to learn (and practise) more and more poses - challenging your body in new ways through a variety of sequences.
These new challenges keep your body on it's toes (excuse the pun!) and help your mind to remain elastic.
It's not only inactivity that can cause problems.
I often have a lot of golfers and racquet sports people come to me with pain on one side of their body. This is often due to over-working one side.
Yoga can restore balance and harmony to your body. It shines a light on (and in) your body, opening your eyes and increasing your awareness and sensitivity regarding your own body alignment. It provides a way of working which can undo, heal, repair, rebuild, straighten, strengthen, stretch and open.
Recent estimates (BBC) suggest 30 million people practise yoga worldwide.
It's got to be worth a try.
Your first class is FREE...get moving!
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