Add Strength Training to Your Yoga Practice

By Western Berks on December 14th, 2015

Many people practice yoga for relaxation. Yoga can also help you tone your muscles, and, at first, it can increase your strength. But eventually you will need something beyond yoga to build muscle tissue. That is when adding a strength- training program makes sense.

To shape up and get fit, building muscle tissue is essential. As we age, we start to lose muscle. For instance, because of dipping hormone and activity levels, a woman typically starts losing about half a pound of muscle a year during her perimenopausal years. Upon reaching menopause, women can lose as much as a pound of muscle a year.

Strength training builds muscles in your trunk, arms and legs and muscle tissue burns more calories than fat even if you are just sitting around. The more muscle in your body, the higher your natural levels of human growth hormone and metabolism will be. Researchers have found that regular strength training raises metabolism by about 15%. Strength training also increases the strength of tendons and ligaments and improves the flexibility of joints. Another important benefit is increased bone strength, which is especially important for women. By increasing bone density, the risk of fractures for women between 50 and 70 years of age is reduced.

A twice-a-week program can replace 5 years’ worth of lost muscle in just a few months. A basic strength-training program might include such exercises as squats, wall push-ups, knee extensions, knee curls, abdominal crunches and bicep curls and triceps pulldowns, which are performed with weights.

A strength-training program can nicely complement a yoga program, resulting in improved physical and mental health and well-being. Before you begin any weight-training regimen, however, Western Berks Physical Therapy can design a program that allows you to safely achieve your goals.