Whether you’re an avid trail runner or love hitting the heavy weights in the gym, there’s no denying that getting regular physical activity is great for your health. However, when it comes to improving your wellbeing from the inside out, there’s one particular workout that stands out from the pack: yoga.
However, it’s more than just flexibility you’ll gain when you add some asanas to your daily routine.
Yoga may benefit people with cognitive impairments
A 2019 meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry found that yoga helped improve cognitive functioning among individuals with mild cognitive impairments or dementia, especially in terms of attention and verbal memory.
Yoga may improve your memory
It’s not just individuals with dementia and other cognitive impairments who may benefit from a few sun salutations, though.
A 2019 study published in Brain Plasticity found that regular yoga practice was associated with changes to practitioners’ prefrontal cortexes—an area of the brain associated with working memory—and that there was “promising early evidence that yoga practice can positively impact brain health.”
Yoga may reduce your risk of heart disease
Heart disease is the number one cause of death both in the U.S. and globally but practicing yoga regularly may be able to help lower your risk of the condition. A 2014 review of research published in the Indian Heart Journal found that yoga may help reduce factors associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD), including BMI and blood pressure. “Yoga appears to be especially beneficial for primary and secondary prevention of CVD,” the review’s authors concluded.
Yoga may help relieve arthritis symptoms
If you have arthritis that’s affecting your physical ability to complete daily tasks, adding some yoga to your regular routine may help. A 2020 meta-analysis published in Frontiers in Medicine: Rheumatology found that, among 840 rheumatoid arthritis sufferers between 30 and 70, yoga helped improve “physical function, disease activity, and grip strength.”
Yoga may help relieve stress
According to a 2020 study published in JAMA Psychiatry, among a group of 226 adults with generalized anxiety disorder, practicing Kundalini yoga for 12 weeks was found to be an effective means of reducing their stress.
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