We’re always looking for more reasons to exercise. It can be hard to stay motivated. In the summer, when it’s hot, it’s incredibly tempting to remain sedentary. However, new research might strengthen your resolve to do low-impact exercise like yoga: it can improve bloating, lower stress and boost gut health.
With heatwaves around the country, it’s essential to find an exercise you can do in the comfort of your own home. Right now, it might not be practical to go out for walks — even in the morning. Yoga is an excellent form of exercise. While it is low-impact and can be performed by people of all different levels, it can significantly impact many aspects of health. For obvious reasons, it can help make you more flexible, improve balance and aid breathing.
However, the benefits go deeper than that. Yoga can help blood pressure, heart health and blood sugar levels. Yoga lowers stress and is gentle on the body. While a hard workout can trigger a migraine or headache, yoga does not. A study found that yoga can reduce how frequently people experience migraines and how intense their migraines are when they occur. And, while it isn’t a miracle cure, yoga breathing can help you burn fat.
Now, research is giving us another reason to love yoga. The stretching movements can aid stomach bloating caused by digestion. Activity and motion of any sort will be beneficial, but the study found that low-intensity yoga is best as it helps move trapped air and promotes relaxation in the digestive tract. It also strengthens pelvic muscles. Because yoga can lower stress responses and the bacteria in our microbiome and stress are link, it can cause a loop that improves digestive health over time.
“Gentle yoga may assist to reduce digestive issues like gas and bloating,” said Eve Kalinik, nutritional therapist and functional medical practitioner. “Yoga is fundamentally a breathing technique, and it is deep belly [diaphragmatic] breathing that promotes the vagus nerve and the gut/brain connection.”
While the weather is hot and you can’t do your regular routine, it’s worth trying yoga to see how it makes you feel! You might find that it is a perfect fit for you, and stick to it as the days cool down in the fall. Of course, before starting any new exercise routine, it’s important to check with your doctor that it’s right for you. Not every exercise is suitable for everyone. Even something as gentle as yoga might not be ideal for your needs. And, hot yoga should be avoided. But, for most people, yoga can be an excellent tool for a healthier life!