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Mix Up Your Workout Routine: 5 Reasons Why You Should Try Yoga

By Daryl H. Bryant (439 words)
Posted in Living with MS on November 28, 2012

There are (1) comments permalink

Mix Up Your Workout Routine: 5 Reasons Why You Should Try Yoga

Benefits of Yoga for MS Patients

As multiple sclerosis may cause loss of balance, muscle spasms, tremors, and muscle weakness and problems walking, a healthy exercise program can improve general health. Yoga classes are a particularly good choice. General guidelines to follow to obtain the best result in easing symptoms include:

  • Check with your doctor before beginning any program
  • Train with a credentialed instructor to learn proper technique
  • Warm up before beginning any exercise routine, plus cool down at the end
  • Exercise in the cooler part of the day
  • Stay fully hydrated
  • Exercise is a safe environment, avoiding throw rugs or poor lighting
  • Stay near some type of grab rail if balance is problem
  • Always stop if experiencing pain as yoga should not hurt
  • Tai chi and aerobic swimming are also ideal exercise routines for MS patients

Yoga classes are ideal for people suffering from multiple sclerosis. Injuries from repetitive movement while practicing yoga are typically to the neck, shoulders, spine, legs and knees. There are several types of yoga, which include physical poses, to breathing techniques and meditation.

While no study has shown that yoga has an effect on the underlying disease of MS, however, in a large, six month study completed in Oregon 57% of patients reported they found Hatha yoga to be “very beneficial”. The benefits were shown to reduce fatigue and increase energy. Other benefits noted were a reduction in muscle spasms, improved balance and an improvement in muscle tone. As yoga is a mind-body therapy, physical and emotional stress is low as compared to other types of exercise.

Yoga has numerous physiological, biochemical and psychological benefits when practiced regularly. The benefits of yoga poses are grouped into the following categories.

Some of the Physiological Benefits:

  • Decreases in the pulse rate, the blood pressure and the respiratory rate
  • Improves range of motion
  • Stabilizes the autonomic nervous system equilibrium
  • Improves musculoskeletal flexibility
  • Improves eye-hand coordination
  • Improves reaction time
  • Decreases pain
  • Improves posture
  • Weight normalization
  • Improves steadiness and balance
  • Increases energy level and endurance
  • Lung capacity often improves

Some of the Psychological Benefits:

  • Decreases depression and anxiety levels
  • Increases somatic and kinesthetic awareness
  • Improves attention span and concentration
  • Increases sense of well-being and self-acceptance
  • An improvement in depth perception
  • Lessens hostile feelings

Some Biochemical Benefits:

  • A decrease in blood glucose, sodium, cholesterol, triglycerides
  • Decrease in catecholamines
  • Increase in hemoglobin, hematocrit, lymphocytes and total while blood cells
  • Increases ATPase
  • Increase in vitamin C, thyroxin and serum protein

Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years with the aim of uniting the body, mind and spirit. The Yogis believe that yoga in the right setting can heal the body through harmony as they believe the mind and body are one. It certainly improves flexibility and aids in relaxation. Many people are motivated to practice yoga to feel fit, to be more energetic and to feel more peaceful.

Comments (1)

Cathy posted on: March 18, 2015

Are there yoga poses that can be done in a chair? My legs do not cooperate when I am on the floor.
I have lived with M.S. since 1979.


Cathy in Minneapolis, MN.

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