5 Long-Term Health Benefits of Yoga

Yoga has long been touted as the panacea for all of lifeís ills. So does it truly hold up? What about its long-term health benefits? Thereís no doubt that yoga, like many forms of exercise, has many health benefits.

For instance, certain forms of yoga can improve your strength. One study showed Bikram yoga improved peopleís deadlift strength. In addition, yoga helps you to improve your flexibility. And, as with any exercise, yoga can help you to relieve stress and improve your mood.

But what specifically is it about yoga that gives you that extra healthy boost now and over the long-term?

Reduces Inflammation

Inflammation acts as the bridge between our unhealthy actions and ill-health. In the medical arena, thereís a strong association between inflammation and various chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. People who are inactive, obese and eat an unhealthy diet have greater levels of inflammation and, therefore, greater levels of disease. But often a personís genes can make them prone to greater levels of inflammation. In either case, yoga can improve inflammation-based blood markers and reduce the expression of inflammation causing genes.

Increases Body Awareness

There are many benefits to having better body awareness. Increased body awareness means youíll know which foods are good or bad for you. You can hear your body when it tells you itís in pain. Youíll know when you need to exercise versus when you need to relax. You become better at sensing your own and other peopleís emotions. And you generally have an improved self-esteem and regard for your own body. Over time, yoga improves your body awareness level and rewards you with these benefits.

Improves Quality of Life for Diabetics

In a study of diabetics, yogic breathing not only improved blood sugar levels but also improved the individual’s social, physical and psychological health. While this study only focused on diabetics, it suggests that similar results could be had for other individuals.

Reduces Cardiovascular Disease

More than 90 million Americans live with the diagnosis of cardiovascular disease as of 2017. Considering our population is 323 million in 2016, thatís more than a quarter of us living day-to-day with this disease. Fortunately, yogis can breathe easy as your cardiovascular disease risk decreases with a long-term practice.

Helps manage blood pressure

Part of having cardiovascular disease is having high blood pressure. So if yoga can help you lower your blood pressure, then one can assume it can help lower your cardiovascular disease risk. One systematic review discovered that yoga may be a useful adjunct intervention to help with pre-hypertension and hypertension.

At the end of the day, no one should be looking to one intervention as the cure-all for lifeís ills. Instead, incorporate yoga with a healthy diet, meditation practice, social activity and other forms of exercise to ensure youíre receiving greater health from all angles.

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Photo Credit: Stocksnap

45 comments

Marie W
Marie W1 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R2 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R2 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R2 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R2 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R2 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Mike R
Mike R7 months ago

Thanks

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Winn A
Winn Adams7 months ago

Thanks

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Winn A
Winn Adams7 months ago

Noted

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Andrea B
Andrea B7 months ago

Yep, thanks

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