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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

Reference

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Kevin Jones

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Published on September 21, 2018

How Long Does it Take to Build Muscle and Increase Fat Loss?

How Long Does it Take to Build Muscle and Increase Fat Loss?

“Can I look like you in 3 months?”

The teenager stared at me, waiting eagerly for a response. It’s a normal day as a certified fitness coach and yet again, I had to grab some flying feet and put them down on the ground of reality again.

“If I would be able to reach this body in 3 months, you think it would’ve taken me 5 years?” I responded smilingly.

In the same moment I tapped the teenager on the shoulder and we both went to the training floor together. Fast forward to today, he eventually reached his dream body. But it took him a little bit longer than 3 months.

In this article, I want to give you a broad overview and answer to the commonly asked question: how long does it take to build muscle and increase fat loss?

Your biggest enemy for building muscle and fat loss

I remember when I joined my first gym years back. After two weeks of continuous training, I saw absolutely no difference in the mirror.

I googled “2 weeks body transformation” and was frustrated by seeing all these pictures by savvy marketers.

We human beings have evolved to seek instant gratification. We can’t wait for things to happen tomorrow. We want them today or even better, yesterday.

It doesn’t matter if we talk about business or our fitness results. If we truly want to make a long-lasting change, we have to delay our innate need to crave gratification instantly and focus on the big picture.

In the book called Grit by Angela Duckworth, a predictor for future success in children was the so called ‘Marshmallow Test’.

The Marshmallow Test works this way. Children are basically given two options:

  1. Eat the marshmallow in front of them right now.
  2. Wait 10 minutes without eating the first marshmallow and get a second marshmallow to eat on top.

This is an insane test of willpower and the ability to delay gratification for an even bigger payoff, as a 10-year old school child. If the child already mastered that crucial skill at such a young age, it was a strong predictor for future success.

We all have to learn how to delay gratification better. Most people overestimate what they can do in one month, but totally underestimate what they can do in 10 years.

What you really need to build muscle fast

Your ground zero

It all matters on which point we start off. Because the reality is:

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Everyone has to start somewhere.

A former Olympic athlete will have an easier time building muscles and losing fat than an avid couch potato. There are mainly two reasons for this:

  • The pre-selected genetic blueprint of the athlete.
  • Work ethic of a professional.

While countless of variables play a role in influencing your success in the gym, it all can be traced back to those crucial points. And the saying still holds merit:

Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard. — Tim Notke

A mentor of mine told me years ago that you can succeed in life if you just don’t give up.

You can have average skills, average genetics and average work ethic. As long as you keep improving on your craft, you will succeed.

Not immediately – but definitely and finally.

Setting the right expectations

I’m great at setting unrealistic goals and having the wrong expectations. I wanted to have 100,000 subscribers on my Youtube Channel and at the end of my first year when I started, back in 2015, I ended up with 30.

This is an embarrassing story, but I hope it gets one point across:

Your goals need to be realistic if you can’t deal with the setbacks of not reaching them.

Ending up with 30 subscribers even after pulling frequent all-nighters to get this endeavor rolling was soul-crushing. I contemplated throwing in the towel.

With the right support from my network and discipline, I managed to keep going. The channel has now grown 100-fold in those 3 years.

To find out what is realistic, consider the next timeline.

The muscle growth timeline

Here’s what results you can expect if your main goal is building lean tissue mass. Warning: Genuine muscle growth without performance enhancing drugs takes a long time.

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Of course these time periods can vary individually depending on your genetic blueprint and work-ethic. You might see results sooner, or maybe even later.

The time frame is set to training 2-3 times per week (continuously!).

Pro tip: Ask a friend or hire a coach to boost your progress tremendously.

This is what happens when you decide to join a gym, out of my experience training hundreds of clients:

Month 1-3

Eat – Sleep – Gym – Repeat.

Your motivation is at your peak at this point. You will tell your friends and family about your new workout regime. You will notice slight differences in your appearance, which are mainly nonexistent.

You will experience immense strength gains on your training because your body finally realizes how to use its muscles properly.

Month 3-6

This is the time period where most people break. You will be going to the gym consistently, yet the results won’t come just now. It’s the big dip in the whole process.

Your goal in this phase is to build a habit around your gym visits. You will most likely discontinue to have the all-in mentality as in the first 3 months. You will seek sustainability. Breaking news: It will still be hard.

But in the end it’s all worth it. Trust me.

Month 6-12

“I’ve seen a new vein in my arm!”

The guy came up to me excited. This is the time where the normal person starts to see considerable results in his training.

An old friend will talk to him and see a difference in his body shape. Suddenly, his old t-shirt gets too thin. The frequent gym-goer feels amazing.

Month 12- 24

Fitness is a trojan horse. While you might think frequent training will only change your body shape, your character will be impacted too.

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Your friends and family will notice. You’re more confident, assertive and more happy with your self-image. You feel confident and sure in your abilities because you have achieved what you set out to do.

Breaking news:

You will still not be satisfied. And that’s a good thing. But don’t forget to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

They haven’t come easy.

Month 24+

“That’s what works for me!”

If you’ve been going frequently and consistently (twice every week for 2 years), you can pat yourself on the shoulders.

If you’ve done most things correctly and with a certified coach, you will reach the goal shape at this point. But this is also the point where it can get frustrating.

Further results will come painstakingly slow at this stage. You increasingly have to work on your weaknesses and constantly alter your training to see further results. Be it applying different repetitions, intensity, workout duration, speed or machines.

A lot of people will not see results after this stage because the benefits are not worth the work for them. We have to realize that what got us here, will not get us to the next level.

The fat loss timeline

If you’re trying to lose fat, I have 2 pieces of news for you:

  1. It will come faster. Fat loss has a shorter timeline.
  2. It will be exactly as hard as building muscles, if not harder.

Here’s what you can expect if you’re starting to lose weight. Here again: Proper guidance can speed up the process.

Month 1

“I’ve lost 10kg in the first week!”

Your results will come fast. Too fast.

You will feel exhausted. Most of your weight that you lose will be water. This is the big dip in the whole weight loss process.

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The shocking news: Most people stop their diet in the first month.

Month 2-3

You will reconsider your dieting strategy and opt for more sustainability. You will reintroduce “bad foods” in your diet that you’ve most likely blocked out in the first two weeks or month.

Because balance (and not quitting your diet) is more important to you at this stage than seeing rapid weight loss. Your life quality will increase at this stage.

Month 6-12

At this time frame, you have probably lost more than 10kg. The majority of the people looking to lose weight will be satisfied with their results and shocked by how much of a difference it makes in their appearance.

You will feel more confident, more energized and more self-assured. You would’ve never guessed that you could make it, that you could finally lose your weight – yet you did!

And everyone will notice. “What happened to you?!” – your friends will ask you jealously. Old crushes of you will suddenly initiate contact again just to know what you’re “up to this weekend”.

The fat loss after this stage will come slowly if you haven’t been obese to start with. The goal at this stage is to have created a rock-solid habit out of your gym and eating patterns.

Then you don’t have to worry about the Yo-Yo effect.

Conclusion

“You changed my life!”

The same teenager took me aside at a Monday evening. He had his first date the weekend prior. Apparently it went well.

In the whole time frame we worked together, he built up more than 10 kilograms of muscles. It took him more than 2 years. Yet I’m sure if you’d ask him today, he would tell you that it was all worth it.

Focus on the things that you can control. Losing fat or building muscles might be an overwhelming task to start out with. We have to delay our innate need for instant gratification and focus on the things that we can control.

Changing our genetic blueprint or the responses our muscles have to the training stimulus is not in our hands. But training at least 2 times per week, eating the right foods and setting the right goals and expectations is.

Featured photo credit: Arthur Edelman via unsplash.com

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