Yoga is an incredibly popular form of exercise for women and men alike – and for very good reasons. It promotes a feeling of calm energy in both the mind and the body, stretches your muscles to help give you a long and lean look, reduces stress and can be practiced alone or in a group depending on how sociable you feel. But for all its benefits, it’s easy to get into a fitness rut, and variety is the key to staying healthy as we get older. If you’re intimidated by the thought of stepping foot into a new gym class full of limber young yoga enthusiasts, try one of these alternatives to yoga, which are the natural next steps in your fitness journey.
If You Like How Energetic You Feel After Yoga, Try … Swimming
The benefits of swimming are numerous. Water provides a fantastic resistance workout and challenges every muscle group while supporting your weight. Working out in water is a great way to recover from an injury (just be sure to talk to your doctor first) or maintain fitness and mobility if you suffer with a chronic condition such as arthritis. Whether you prefer a longer, steady swim session or tougher training that mixes up fast and slow laps, half an hour spent at the pool will leave you feeling refreshed and energized.
If You Like How Your Body Benefits from Yoga, Try… a Dance Class
Get your groove on and lose a few pounds – what’s not to like? You’ll work up a sweat during fast and furious dance workouts, which are as challenging for your mind as they are for your body. You can burn anywhere between 300 to 600 calories an hour, depending on the type of dance and the tempo of the music, but the best thing about dance classes is how much fun they are.
Tip: If embarrassing leaks are keeping you from starting a new fitness regimen, throw a couple of Always Discreet pads into your workout bag to have complete confidence about your sensitive bladder, even during the most energetic routines.
If You Like the Calming Power of Yoga, Try … Tai Chi
Slow things down with tai chi, an ancient form of exercise that’s sometimes referred to as “moving meditation.” It combines deep breathing with flowing movements to create a dynamic sequence of postures designed to calm both your mind and body. The combination of gentle physical exercise, stretching and mindfulness makes it a powerful antidote to stress and anxiety. Studies have also found that tai chi benefits your health by lowering blood pressure.
If You Like the Joint-Boosting Power of Yoga … Try Jogging
If you think that jogging damages joints and ligaments, think again. Studies show that running may actually improve the health of joints and surrounding tissues, protecting against the development of osteoarthritis. It’s important to start slow and build up: Alternate running and walking, for instance, and build up to running for a full 20 minutes and extending your time from there. Add in a strength-training session to build up the muscles around your joints, and continue to practice a little yoga to stretch and lengthen your limbs. It’s a super-effective regimen that can help keep you feeling healthy and young.
Tip: No matter what type of exercise you do, you need clean workout clothes to get the most out of your routine! Wash them with Tide PODS, and add Downy Fresh Protect Active Fresh in-wash scent booster to the load – the motion-activated fresheners work like deodorant for your clothes, neutralizing odors as you move.
How do you stay healthy and active? Log in or register to share your fitness tips in the comments section below.