Mental Health

Mandy Kloppers

Why Yoga is a Great Activity For Any Athlete

Whether you’re a basketball player, football player, or swimmer, yoga is a great activity for any athlete to incorporate into their workout and training regimen. There is a number of reasons why yoga is beneficial to the heart, mind, and body. If you are looking to develop a holistic approach to your overall wellness as an athlete, you’ll want to prioritize yoga in order to experience the myriad of benefits. Consider some of the reasons why yoga is such a great activity for any athlete to include.

1. Yoga Helps to Decrease Chances of an Injury

If you’ve gathered a few tidbits of information on health and wellness, you’ll know that inflammation is bad for the body. You’ll need to incorporate a variety of different habits in order to reduce the inflammation in your body. Habits such as intermittent fasting, decreased sugar intake and a quality sleep regimen are some of the most well-known. Your muscles can become inflamed over time. One of the best ways to reduce muscular inflammation involves stretching. When you incorporate yoga and stretching together, you can directly impact your muscles’ ability to become inflamed. As you decrease muscular inflammation, you’ll decrease the chances of an injury.

2. Yoga Encourages Flexibility

A common misconception is that flexibility is only useful for people who engage in activities such as ballet or types of dance. However, flexibility is paramount for people who want to remain functional and independent as they age. This is especially true in the conversation of yoga for athletes. Flexibility is useful for those who are looking to enhance their athletic performance. When athletes are flexible it helps them to remain mobile in a unique way. It also gives them an edge over their competition when they’re able to maneuver their bodies in various ways due to the yoga moves they learn.

3. Yoga is an Excellent Form of Resistance Training

Most athletes desire strength and muscle growth. While progressive overload and protein are essential for muscle growth, yoga holds the capacity to provide a different type of resistance training. Using your own body weight as resistance is an extremely impactful way to tone muscles and remain strong. It”s also great for those who don’t always have access to the weight rooms or various forms of gym equipment. 

 

The human body is one of the best resources for strength training and resistance workouts, and various types of yoga can help to make the body strong, limber, and powerful. When an athlete uses yoga and the body develops stronger muscles, this can provide a heightened and competitive edge against those who aren’t used to using specific muscles that yoga targets.

4. Yoga Helps with Mental Well-being and Stress Reduction

Especially in competitive sports, an athlete’s stress level can get pretty high. With dangerously high spikes in cortisol, the body can be negatively impacted in the form of chronic diseases and illnesses. The key is to know how to manage your stress. Yoga is an excellent option for stress management because it includes a number of breathing exercises as well as meditation.

 

Depending on the type of yoga style you choose, you’ll be able to enjoy poses that aid in the process of relaxation. For athletes who want to experience more profound relaxation and meditation before or after a big game, relaxing yoga poses can be extremely helpful in managing stress throughout the various seasons of an athletic career.

5. Yoga Helps with Weight Management

Maintaining a specific weight tends to be important for a lot of athletes in order to move efficiently. When an athlete is looking to drop a certain amount of weight within a certain amount of time, activities such as hot yoga can help to quicken the process. Plus, there are more intense forms of yoga like Vinyasa yoga and Ashtanga Yoga. Intense yoga styles can help to burn a lot of calories as the body continues to become stronger in the training sessions.

Yoga for Athletes

It’s common for people to hold a specific stereotype surrounding who yoga enthusiasts actually are. While there are many who believe that yoga is mainly for women of leisure or stay-at-home mothers, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Yoga is truly for everyone. It’s especially beneficial for any athlete looking to maintain an optimal wellness ritual to take care of all facets of their health and maintain that competitive edge in their athletic legacy.