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Improve Your Bone Health With These 6 Special Yoga Practices

Improve Your Bone Health With These 6 Special Yoga Practices

Yoga is an excellent way of having a healthy mind and body. One of the advantages of yoga is that it helps in keeping the bones healthy and strong.[1] Yoga is excellent for strengthening bones because it is a weight bearing exercise; it is isometric and low impact. The exercises are gentle on the joints and cartilage. Strong bones are essential as they help in bringing balance to the body and providing good posture. There is a misconception among people that bones weaken with age but it actually happens because of bad daily habits.

Here are some of the yoga poses that will help in making sure that your bones stay strong and healthy:

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1.  Trikonasana

The pose is also known as extended triangle pose and it has a lot of advantages. It is an excellent pose for increasing the flexibility of the spine and it also helps in relieving gastritis. It is an excellent way of stretching the whole body. It is good for making sure that the lower body stays strong. It is not just good for stretching the lower body, but also effective for the bones in the lower body region. It is effective in providing flexibility to the flat feet and, if it is practiced regularly, it can also help in stretching the ankles and calves so that an arch is created.

2. Vrksasana

It is also known as the tree pose. To make sure that you are doing the pose right you should get the help of a yoga instructor. It is not a very complicated or difficult pose but it is highly useful for the bones. It helps in stimulating the pelvic bones, shoulder bones, and spine. It is an excellent exercise for the prevention of deformities of the spine, weaknesses in the shoulder and legs and also rheumatoid arthritis. The exercise is also recommended to people who are looking to improve their balance as it helps in strengthening the arches and bones of the feet. In the beginning, if you are finding it difficult to achieve this pose then you should start by standing against the wall as it will help in achieving better balance.

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3. Utkatasana

The pose is also known as the chair pose. It is a perfect exercise for making the bones of the lower body strong. It is extremely good for the lower body such as the ankles, legs, hips, and thighs. It is a simple yoga pose that is easy to understand and imitate. The pose helps in stretching the calf muscles along with the Achilles’ tendon. It is an extremely beneficial exercise for people with flat feet. The exercise is not just focused on lower body strength; it is also good for flexing the muscles of the chest and shoulders. It makes the bones of the entire body strong and is good for increasing stamina. In the beginning, you can make the exercise easier by using the support of a wall to achieve balance.

4. Ardha Matsyendrāsana

It is one of the best poses for getting healthy and strong bones. It is also known as the seated twisting pose. It is good for the bones, especially the ones in the back and neck. It puts pressure on the back and neck and not just helps in stimulating the production of bones but also assists in relaxing them. It is an excellent exercise for the promotion of bone health. You can opt for milder twists, which are effective in stretching the back muscles and putting very little pressure on the vertebrae.

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5. Bhujangasana

The pose is also known as the cobra pose. It is highly effective in increasing the strength of the bones. It is good for developing better lower-back support and also assists in achieving an upright posture. It is very helpful in dealing with the deformities of a spine as it makes the backbone strong and healthy. The cobra pose is also good for strengthening the bones of the hands, arms and pelvis as these muscles are also involved in the exercise. It is good for the prevention of serious problems with the fingers or wrist arthritis.

6. Salabhasana

The pose is also known as the locust pose and, when it is practiced regularly, it can help in improving the flexibility of the bones and increasing the strength of the thigh bones. It is perfect for stimulating the backbone and increasing the strength of not just the arms but also the legs. In the beginning, you should put a blanket under your thighs and abdomen to get support.

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Featured photo credit: esesme.com via esesme.com

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Kevin Jones

Small Business Enthusiast & Advisor

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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