When someone thinks about starting a fitness program, it can be difficult to find reliable information about the dangers or benefits of certain exercises. Fortunately, academic and medical researchers have increased their focus on analyzing health trends, and peer-reviewed studies are more available than ever in the information age.
Yoga is known as an activity that doesn’t necessarily require athletic attire, and many notable actors, CEOs, and other public figures have embraced the more casual yoga experience as a mean to achieve wellness. However, in just the last few years, researchers have gathered concrete evidence that confirms the various benefits of practicing yoga.
One of the giants of health and wellness research, Harvard Medical, has developed a thorough expertise in the more technical aspects of yoga. For their efforts, Harvard researchers have discovered several truths about yoga that are held to the high standards of medical research. Below are just four key takeaways from Harvard researchers.
Yoga will save you money
Over the last few years, hospitals reported that approximately 80% of all doctor visits are for stress-related health problems. Accordingly, the amount of money spent on stress and anxiety is only rivaled by the two premiere healthcare costs: cancer and heart disease.
However, a recent study by Harvard researchers determined that practicing yoga reduced doctor visits by a massive 43%. By combining elements of meditation, mindfulness training, and yoga, researchers developed a simple yoga program that focused on reducing stress by unifying the mind and body. Monetarily, this active combination of meditation and yoga saved participants an average of $2,360 in medical bills over the course of a year.
Yoga works on both a biological and a genetic scale
It might sound like science fiction, but Harvard psychiatrist JohnDenninger believes that practicing yoga can switch off genes that are connected with stress and bodily health.
Dr. Denninger’sresearch connects yoga and mindfulness training to “a truly biological effect” that impacts the quality of an individual’s immune system and aging process. Advanced research into this field also connected yoga with the release of telomerase, an enzyme that slows the aging process of cells.
Yoga is safe to practice while pregnant
There is a laundry list of activities that pregnant women should avoid. However, researchers have confirmed that yoga is not one of them. According to a study conducted by a group of Harvard researchers, all of these yoga poses performed by a group of pregnant women did not adversely impact their health or the health of the unborn child. In fact, the study went as far to say that the mother’s blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen levels remained at normal levels as the group progressed through all 26 yoga poses.
The evidence collected from the study convinced researchers to re-examine how yoga impacts a mother’s pregnancy in a more positive light. Additionally, other studies found that yoga often reduced depression, pain, and discomfort throughout a mother’s pregnancy.
Yoga will help you sleep better
In their continued studies that explore its possible benefits, Harvard researchers have verified claims that routine yoga can improve a person’s quality of sleep over time.
A research group from Harvard Medical School confirmed that sleep disruptions due to insomnia and chronic pain were greatly reduced following participation in a basic yoga program.
The dangers of lacking quality sleep in are The lack of quality sleep in individuals is well documented, in the medical field, and the adverse effects of sleep deprivation impact both the mental and the physiological health of an individual. All of these findings mirror those of a larger sleep study where over 400 cancer survivors claimed to experience less fatigue, lower stress, and better sleep quality after practicing yoga just two times a week.
These controlled studies, supported by Harvard researchers, are slowly giving credence to the claims that proponents of yoga have made for the last few decades. By the word of Harvard researchers, the value of yoga training on a person’s physical and mental health should be enough of an incentive for anyone to embrace the practice.
By: Vincent Stokes