National Yoga Awareness Month

by admin September 7, 2010

With September being designated as National Yoga Awareness Month, it is a great opportunity to add variety to your physical fitness program. Yoga has proven to have a wide range of health benefits for the body, mind and spirit including:
  • Strengthened bones and joints
  • Decreased chronic back pain
  • Improved Posture
  • Increased flexibility
  • Decreased stress
  • Weight loss
  • Lower blood pressure and cholesterol

The cost of poor health has left its mark on the United States. Arthritis is the leading cause of disability, costing the economy $86 billion a year. Repetitive strain injuries, including carpal tunnel, are the most costly occupational health problem with more than $20 billion a year in workers compensation. Both of these issues can be improved and/or prevented through effective health practices, yoga being one of them.
Yoga helps to improve flexibility and mobility by increasing the body’s range of motion and reducing aches and pains. It also strengthens the body’s muscles while relieving muscular tension.
Herb Anding, physical therapist and Clinical Director of the Physical Therapy Center at The Orthopaedic Institute’s Gainesville office, said that if done properly, yoga is safe for everyone. It is beneficial for anyone who is working on increased flexibility and core strengthening.
Yoga is also low impact which makes it beneficial for certain bone and joint problems like carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow and arthritis, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website.
With more than 70 million Americans suffering from one or more types of cardiovascular disease, people are searching for new methods to improve their health. Yoga has proven to provide cardiovascular benefits by lowering the resting heart rate, increasing endurance and improving oxygen uptake during exercise.
The rewards of yoga far outweigh the potential risks, but it is important to understand the possible injuries that could occur while practicing yoga. One of them being muscle strains from overstretching the neck, shoulders, spines, legs or knees.
“There is a tendency to want to compete in classes,” Anding said. “You see someone stretch to the floor and then you feel like you have to do the same. Don’t push past your pain threshold. Do what is comfortable for you.”
For more tips on how to prevent yoga injuries visit:
http://http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00063

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