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Manage your stress with yoga

Stress and anxiety aggravate many health conditions. Recommendations to address stress management show up in most of the treatment plans I write for my patients these days. Stress busting takes many forms, and the key is to find one that works for you. My favorite one, both to do and to recommend, is yoga.

The body derives many benefits from cultivating a regular yoga practice. An overall increase in fitness comes from improvements in balance, flexibility, range of motion and strength, all of which yoga will help. Then you will be less likely to injure yourself doing other sports or fitness activities, as well as doing your daily life.

Managing chronic health conditions with yoga yields excellent results. Yoga helps to lower the heart rate and blood pressure. Pain, depression, insomnia, fatigue and anxiety can improve by doing yoga.

Scientific studies linking yoga with weight loss are still hard to find, but many instructors and students of yoga tell promising stories. One idea attributes improved digestion to doing yoga, which eliminates constipation, water retention and bloating. Another idea credits improved blood circulation to doing regular yoga, with the results showing up in the endocrine system and the brain. For example, good circulation to the thyroid gland and the pancreas work to control appetite, mood and sleep patterns.

Use yoga in addition to medical care to address chronic conditions. Use yoga to supplement your existing fitness routine. Check out a local studio like Precision Pilates & Yoga today to find a class to match your needs.

--Dr. Kate Kennedy

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