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8 Amazing Benefits I Realised After Doing Yoga Every Day

8 Amazing Benefits I Realised After Doing Yoga Every Day

For me, practicing yoga has always been a bit like going to church — I don’t always want to go, but I am always glad when I do it. However, recently I made the decision to practice yoga every day. It’s been very rewarding. There are numerous benefits when it comes to doing yoga, but in this post I’ll share eight that I think will persuade you to give it a try.

1. Builds my confidence.

According to Shape magazine, “Confidence feels great on everyone: It makes you feel good, and it makes those around you feel comfortable.”

The article goes on to illustrate 10 yoga poses that will help boost one’s confidence. The first few poses are for beginners and the last few poses are for more advanced yogis. We all have times in our lives where we need an extra shot of confidence.

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2. It can be done anywhere.

Yoga can be practiced anywhere. Sure it’s nice to have our own mats and be in a yoga class or in the comfort of our own homes, but yoga can be done wherever we are. I have seen YouTube videos for yoga while traveling, yoga at your desk, yoga at the beach, etc. I enjoy doing videos so I can do a whole practice, but now that I have done enough of them, I can do my own practice anywhere. I don’t need electronics, a mat, or a teacher.

3. I learn to breathe.

An article from health and yoga states that there are tangible benefits from learning and using the full yogic breath. The benefits include:

  • Releases acute and chronic muscular tensions around the heart and digestive organs.
  • Helps sufferers of respiratory illnesses such as asthma and emphysema to overcome the fear of shortness of breath. It actually increases lung capacity.
  • Encourages proper nervous stimulus to the cardiovascular system.
  • Dramatically reduces emotional and nervous anxiety.
  • Improves detoxification through increased exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen.
  • Amplifies the autoimmune system by increasing the distribution of energy to the endocrine system.
  • Calms the mind and creates mental/physical balance.

4. I become aware of my posture.

Since I have been doing yoga, my posture has improved immensely. Every pose and action I have done while practicing yoga has taught me to stand up tall and align my head over heart and heart over pelvis. Even while sitting, I will notice when I am slumping and I will correct it. I have also noticed when I correct my posture my breath deepens and has much better flow.

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5. It doesn’t have to be expensive.

I have never actually paid to do yoga. First, a friend gave me her yoga mat that she never used and then my sister bought me a new yoga mat. I wear clothes I already have: usually sports bra, tank top, and yoga capri pants. I don’t drive anywhere. I usually practice yoga in my house. I have never paid for a class. I have attended free classes occasionally. However, I usually follow along with Yoga With Adriene. There are a lot of good videos out there, but she is my favorite teacher. Her videos are free and they have a wide range of choices: beginner, toning, stretching, confidence boosting, morning and evening routines, etc.

6. I become more mindful.

While doing yoga, I learn to live in the moment. When I first started practicing yoga, I was tempted to rush and often felt impatient. I would also check the time a lot. I kept checking to see how much of the video was left. As I have continued my journey with yoga, I have learned to slow down my mind. I focus on my breath and the movement. Sometimes, I am not moving at all but am in a still position and just focusing on my breath. It’s wonderful. To be able to slow down my mind and focus on one thing at a time is beneficial in all areas of my life.

7. I become leaner and stronger.

I noticed right away when I started doing yoga that the practice uses a lot of one’s own weight as resistance. For example, if you are doing a plank or downward dog, you are holding up your own weight. It’s gotten much easier the more I do it because I am getting stronger. I also feel leaner and my clothes are a little looser. According to Health, if you are looking to be lean and look terrific, there is no quicker way to achieve this than through a regular yoga routine.

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8. Yoga helps relieve stress

Prevention states, “During periods of transition, the holidays, or anytime life starts to get a little complicated, a quick yoga break (even just 10 minutes, if that’s all you have) can take the edge off.”

I can tell you from personal experience that yoga absolutely does reduce stress. I can usually feel stress manifest itself in my shoulders. It’s amazing to me how just one yoga practice can release the stress in my shoulders. I find myself mentally lighter and physically more relaxed.

Yoga is wonderful for so many reasons. There are many more benefits than the ones I listed above. If you haven’t tried yoga before, please do. There are practices as short as 10 minutes. If you have tried it before, please try to do it more consistently. I am, and the benefits I continue to see are completely worth it.

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Featured photo credit: Lushlifegarden.com via flickr.com

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Tomi Rues

Adjunct college teacher, notebook/journal designer, author

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Last Updated on May 21, 2020

The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

You have probably seen enough fad diets to last a lifetime. Many have become popular overnight and left just as quickly.

Some fad diets, though, have actually passed the test of time and are making some headway in the nutritional world.

Outlined below are four fad diets that are actually beneficial for your health and wellness. Read on to find out why you should consider adopting one (or more) of these healthy eating styles today.

An important concept you should keep in mind is to disregard the term “diet” as it is typically used. The word diet implies the idea of restriction and removal. Instead, think of the word diet in this context as a healthy eating lifestyle.

Let’s take a look at some of these healthy eating lifestyles that have been categorized, by no fault of their own, as fad diets.

1. The Paleo Diet

The paleo diet, or ancestral eating, is simply eating the way your paleolithic ancestors would have up to 10,000 years ago, or when the agriculture age began.

The advantage now is you don’t have to do this in a loin cloth, unless you want to… The focus of this diet is proteins, vegetables, some fruits, nuts and seeds and some healthy fats.

In the paleo diet, there aren’t any grains, starchy carbohydrates, sugars, or dairy.

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How Your Health Can Change With Paleo

The paleo diet is a good way to keep your blood sugar under control. It can also have a positive effect on type 2 diabetes, and can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

With this healthy eating lifestyle, people have also achieved good weight loss results and boast improved energy levels. [1]

It’s not just what’s in the paleo diet that’s important, it’s what’s NOT in it. There aren’t any processed and manufactured foods, junk foods, artificial ingredients or chemical additives.

Paleo is a way of eating that gets you more in tune with your body and, therefore, can provide a lot of benefits.

2. Whole30

The Whole30 diet is relatively new and owes its popularity to social media and the #Whole30 Instagram hashtag that allowed people to share and broadcast their success with the diet.

With Whole30 you are taking 30 days and focusing on nutritious whole foods such as meats, nuts and seeds, seafood, eggs, vegetables, and fruits.

During the month you are eliminating:

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  • sugar
  • alcohol
  • legumes
  • grains
  • dairy
  • soy

Whole30 is similar to paleo, but it goes a bit further eliminating sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup.

At the end of the 30 days, you strategically reintroduce those eliminated foods back into your diet to discover any possibility of health consequences from them or even potential food allergies.

Finding Out How Food Impacts You

Most people eat the same things so often and may not realize that certain foods are causing health consequences, as they’ve become accustomed to feeling lethargic and run down.

With Whole30 you get the chance to see how these foods may have a negative impact on your body. You’ll also reset your taste buds, which may have become desensitized from processed and artificial “foods” and excess salt.

This diet will help you regain your love of food… in a healthy way!

3. The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet has been at the top of the list as a very effective diet for some time now.

For people in countries like Italy or Greece, this has simply been a normal way of life–along with higher activity levels, sunlight exposure, proximity to water, and lower stress.

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With the Mediterranean diet, the focus is on heart-healthy foods. It looks like this:

  • Fruits & vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes & nuts
  • Replacing butter with olive oil
  • Using herbs and spices instead of salt
  • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
  • Moderate amounts of red wine

Help Your Heart & Overall Health With A Mediterranean Diet

Information from the Mayo Clinic shows that this diet reduces heart disease and lowers your “bad” LDL cholesterol. Studies involving 1.5 million people demonstrated that the Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality, along with overall mortality. [2]

With all these benefits, this is definitely a “fad diet” that’s worth the hype.

4. The Alkaline Diet

The alkaline diet is about changing the foods you eat so that you put your body into an alkaline state and out of an acidic state. When your body is too far on the acidic side it can result in a condition called acidosis. This can lead to issues in your body such as upset stomach, breathing difficulties, headaches, weakness and, fatigue. In extreme cases, it can result in shock, coma, or death.

The goal is to get your body in a more alkaline state, which results in overall better health. The focus is on including alkaline boosting foods such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, and legumes. You’re also wanting to reduce acidic foods such as low quality beef and poultry, dairy, eggs, grains, and alcohol.

Pros & Cons With The Alkaline Diet

The benefits that come from this way of eating is that reduction in inferior quality foods, processed items and alcohol. You may feel improved energy levels, mental clarity and even better joint health.

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People also report weight loss but again this may come from the reduction in calories from junk and processed foods but this is not a bad thing at all.

One con with this diet is that the pH value of the food you eat might not have an impact on blood pH, as your body is able to balance this pretty well on a day-to-day basis.

Follow These Fads for Better Health and Wellness

There can be a danger in categorizing things as a fad diet because fads come and go. People are always looking for the next big thing or a quick fix.

The four examples above buck that status quo. These diets, though mainstream, actually can give you benefits and aren’t going to go away anytime soon because they work.

What makes these diets special is that they boast real whole foods and the eliminate processed and manufactured junk.

The Big Takeaway:

Whatever way you choose to eat, the focus needs to be on whole unprocessed foods. Look for the cleanest, local and most natural things you can find for the benefit of your overall health and wellness. Your body and mind will thank you.

Featured photo credit: Dan Gold via unsplash.com

Reference

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