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6 Yoga enhances overall health

Most athletes take as a given that their athletic activities are healthy, which, of course, they are. But training in the red all the time eventually causes wear and tear on the body, particularly without space for diverse movement and quality rest.

Yoga not only helps you feel good after hard training, but it provides other more distinct health advantages. More efficient breathing helps reduce blood pressure and lowers the stress response, for one. Yoga has also been shown to be excellent for helping to prevent or reduce problems associated with sciatica, carpal tunnel, or even rotator-cuff issues. In most cities, you can even find classes that are designed specifically for people rehabbing from injuries or with back pain.

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Don’t take any of this to mean that yoga is “easy.” Sure, it can be sleepy and new-agey, but it can also give you a challenge that you totally didn’t see coming. But even when it’s intense, a well-run yoga class is somehow gentle on the body.

This is a great way for you to live a longer active life. Don’t fear it. It’s not weird, exotic, or demonic. Start at an appropriate level—even if that’s at the bottom—and give it a serious try. Then report back in the comments.