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Exercise

5 Science-Backed Ways Yoga Can Help You

Some of the hardest things to measure are the ones that make the most difference in our life. That includes the general concept of well-being. Researchers are finding improvements in how people feel overall when they participate in yoga. That can mean lower stress levels, less anxiety, or a more positive outlook on the future. One type of yoga—yoga nidra or sleep yoga—is used to help with PTSD and other serious issues. You may not think the Department of Defense is where you’d find yoga research and training, but they’ve been using these techniques for years with great results. Chronic stress causes inflammation which impacts nearly all body systems. Ohio State University researchers have found that women who practice yoga have lower levels of blood compounds that cause inflammation—both generally and after having stressful experiences.

  1. Better balance

Falling becomes a bigger problem as we age, so balance is key. Indiana University researchers studied how yoga helped with generally and found that balance dramatically improved. After a stroke or with other health conditions, poor balance can lead to bigger problems. Henry Ford Hospital in Michigan developed a yoga program for women with chronic lung problems. They’ve seen great results with yoga for helping women get the balance and strength they need to go about regular life—things like walking up stairs.

The bottom line: If you’re not inclined to say OM, you don’t have to. Just concentrate on how your health and well-being can begin to improve with every stretch.