What if we told you that there is an exercise that can Improve fitness and also reduce muscle pain after training, also lower the oxygen in the body, also release stress and improve your performance in the gym? So there is. Have you ever tried yoga? No? Here are some reasons that will convince you to start.
Yoga is considered a relatively calm sport. Chances are you’ll sweat quite a bit if you do it right, but yoga is a much less strenuous exercise, on the face of it, than various aerobic exercises. Still, studies show that practicing yoga contributes to sports performance.
The findings presented below were tested in several studies under laboratory conditions and published on the Pubmed medical website.
Yoga helps in lowering oxidation levels to improve fitness
Practicing yoga lowers the level of oxidation in the body during and after physical exercise.
What’s so good about it?
Oxidation, or in the professional language, oxidation, is a chemical reaction in which electrons pass from a certain substance to an oxidizer, which can create free radicals whose chain reaction harms body cells, increases the risk of inflammatory processes, accelerates aging processes and can cause cancer.
The body has a free radical neutralization system and also a proper diet rich in foods such as vegetables and fruits that have antioxidants whose role is to “neutralize” the free radicals can help.
The study revealed that practicing yoga for six months including meditation significantly increased the activity of glutathione – an antioxidant – compared to the control group that continued to practice routine physical training without yoga.
Significant decrease in late muscle pain
Delayed muscle soreness that comes after prolonged training is a well-known phenomenon that many exercisers suffer from.
In the study, muscle pain was assessed at the beginning of the training and after it. In the group that practiced yoga, a significant decrease in muscle pain was observed – even after a single yoga practice – compared to the group that did not practice.
Decrease in oxygen consumption and lactic acid with the help of yogic breathing
why is it important?
The body’s oxygen consumption during activity is a measure of the intensity of the activity. The higher it is, the higher the effort. Accordingly, you need to invest more energy in the same activity.
The lactic acid is a byproduct of the energy production process which is breaking down glucose and turning it into available energy. When there is a high level of lactic acid in the blood, the muscles have difficulty functioning, and it affects sports performance.
When there is a decrease in oxygen consumption per unit of time, there is a decrease in the level of lactic acid – which means that there is an improvement in the work rate and physical capacity in the activity.
The study that examined the issue was done on athletic subjects in two stages, after one year and after two years of yogic breathing practice, Paranayama. Broadly referring to different types of breathing exercises that often combine inhalation and exhalation through the nose.
After one year, a decrease in oxygen consumption per work unit was observed in both the control group and the study group. But in the study group a decrease in lactic acid at rest was also observed compared to the control group, where no change occurred.
After two years, the oxygen consumption per unit of time was found to be significantly lower in the study group compared to the control group.
The lactic acid in the study group also decreased significantly compared to the control group. Following these findings, the work rate increased and greatly improved in the study group compared to the control group.
The results after one and two years show that athletes who practice yogic breathing can achieve higher work rates in training with a moderate increase in lactic acid, which also contributes to faster recovery from training.
Yoga reduces stress and improve fitness
In this study, young competitive cyclists who experienced a lot of pressure and mental stress from the coach, teachers and parents were tested for better performance. Those who are subjected to a lot of stress over a long period of time without it being channeled correctly, may suffer from physical and not only mental damage.
In the study, they tested the effect of yoga practice that is integrated into the training system and the variability of the heart rate as a measure of stress.
The results showed that yoga changes the balance in the autonomic nervous system. This is the system that regulates actions that we do not consciously control such as saliva secretion and heart activity.
Yoga caused a decrease in sympathetic activity – the part of this nervous system that activates the nerves in stressful situations, and an increase in parasympathetic activity – the part that is responsible for the nerves during routine. As a result, there was indeed a decrease in stress levels.
Based on the results, they recommended incorporating yoga practice as a group activity in athletes and in general for anyone who performs sports activities.
So if you’ve never tried, know that practicing yoga can help you not only feel better but actually achieve better performance in training. It’s time to incorporate it into your training program.
have you read Beauty! Don’t tear yourself up
Just before you start engaging in physical activity, it is important to adapt it to your health condition – so that you only do yourself good. Do not burden yourself too much at the beginning, and make sure to consult a doctor before starting, and especially before signing up for a gym. Successfully!