Category Archives: Yoga + Fitness

Benefits of Yoga: Digest and Repair

Woman doing stretching exercise on yoga mat. Fitness female performing yoga on exercise mat at gym. Child Pose Balasana.

In our stressed out society, many of us are in a constant “fight or flight” mode, due to psychological stress and habitual shallow breathing. This causes our sympathetic nervous system to direct the blood where it’s needed to quickly escape or fight an imminent physical threat– our muscles, brain, and eyes. Therefore, blood flow is directed away from digestion, immunity, skin, and repair. Is it any wonder that stress causes digestive problems, rapid aging, and predisposes us to disease?

Yoga to the rescue! The physical yoga postures, breathing exercises, and psychological approach stimulate the parasympathetic response, which is rest, digest, and repair mode. And you thought you were just getting more flexible! Yoga practice can help us to feel better in every way, live better, and even age better.

There are numerous styles of yoga, from relaxing and restorative to vigorous and athletic. Explore the classes in your area – you can definitely find one that meets your needs (which of course may change over time).





Get Fit Quick: The Workout for Busy People

Not to be confused with “get rich quick” schemes, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is no scheme. It’s a highly effective, proven approach for building lean body mass, boosting metabolism, improving insulin sensitivity, and increasing fitness and performance. Since you can whittle down your workout from a long, boring 60 minutes to a quick but intense 20 minute workout, it’s the best option for time crunched people, but also a great adjunct for anyone interested in fitness and health.

There are many variations to HIIT, but the basic format is:

  • 3 – 5 minute warmup of your choice
  • 30 seconds of intense movement (ex: sprinting)
  • 90 seconds of lower intensity movement (ex: relaxed jog)
  • Repeat the 30:90 sequence 8 – 10 times
  • 3 – 5 minute cool down of your choice

You can do this sequence with walking/running, cycling, swimming, running stairs, elliptical, and even jump roping. Also, you determine the level of intensity that works for you. And, there’s no pressure to do this every day. In fact, it is best to limit HIIT to no more than three times per week. On the off days, you can do your longer cardio workouts, weight train, and/or practice yoga.

HIIT workouts will be intense, but just for a short period, and you get to recover completely before starting the intense phase again. So you’re not huffing and puffing through a long, grueling workout. Because the recovery is built right in, you actually finish this workout feeling refreshed and with more energy!