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Yoga and Pilates as Medicine?

Is there any doubt about the relationship of stress to health? Yoga and Pilates are great ways to achieve your physical health goals while also managing your stress levels.

 

Is there any doubt about the relationship of stress to health?  While most of us would agree on the negative impact of stress on our health, for most of us there is no way around getting stressed, especially during the holiday season. Whether we are caught in horrendous 101 traffic, managing an ever-increasing work load, or juggling finances - there is so much cause for stress.

During the holiday season (also dubbed the "silly season") a routine exercise practice can help you to weather the increased social activity and exposure to colds and flu.

Yoga and Pilates are great ways to achieve your physical health goals while also managing your stress levels. The more you put into your Yoga or Pilates practice, the greater the rewards.  As a Novato Yoga and Pilates instructor I have seen amazing results first-hand. 

Yoga isn't only for the flexible and fit. In fact, if you feel you couldn't possibly do yoga, it is likely that it  would be especially beneficial to you.  People with no experience in  yoga often make quicker progress.  The ones who find yoga most  challenging, think they are not flexible or skinny, and can't seem to  quiet their minds seem to get the most gain after just a few sessions.    

For all you ever-busy Novatans, here is my one suggestion for helping you start off 2013 healthier and happier:

Start every day with just a few minutes of stretches and  exercise.  If you don't know what stretch or exercise to do, I suggest finding a gym or yoga teacher that can suggest a few to start with. Even if your schedule  is crazy, you can always fit a few minutes sometime in the day!  With  regular practice, amazing things begin to happen:  you'll feel stronger  and more flexible (important when schedules seem packed, as flexibility  is key to not feeling overwhelmed!) 

When you exercise and stretch  regularly, your posture improves, allowing for better cardiovascular  function.  If your muscles are knotted up, your body's natural immune  system gets bottled up.  The lymph system, which generates and stores  the white blood cells that fight infection, is powered only by your  breathing and movement.

In addition to the physical benefits, are the mental and  psychological effects.  If your body feels more relaxed, you don't tend  to worry as much, problems don't seem to get to you as much. Maybe there will be a lot more "Ho Ho Ho" in your holidays.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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