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The Health Benefits of Cycling and Yoga

Categories: Work Life Balance
1 December 2015

It might not be the kind of article you’ve come to expect from the blog here at Scott Partners, but the fact is we are all passionate about a few things – in addition to helping you plan and grow your small business or medium sized enterprise.

And a couple of those things include cycling and yoga. Supplementing your work schedule with time for physical activity is the best way to maintain your work/life balance – another thing that we know makes make us happier at home and more productive at work, which is the definition of a win-win situation.

So what does the science tell us about why cycling and yoga are healthy activities you should consider adding to your routine?

Cycling

Cycling is a sport that has always been strong in Victoria, with the café culture, cycling culture and amazing range of bike tracks and paths all combining to support those who enjoy this pastime.

A major health benefit of cycling is that it is low impact on your body, as compared to more jarring sports like running or lifting weights. However, despite the fact it is low impact, cycling is also renowned for being an excellent muscle builder, especially for the major muscle groups.

Your major leg muscles, gluteal muscles and core abdominal muscles all benefit from cycling. For desk-bound workers, or those who spend a lot of time behind the wheel of a car, strengthening these muscles can help prevent lower back pain and other muscle aches by building a stronger base.

The other major advantage of cycling is that it can be modified as you need, and the intensity can be raised or lowered as necessary, depending on your fitness level and goals.

Less measurable but no less important benefits of cycling include the fact that it is a great activity to engage in with your family or friends, and the social aspect is what draws many into the sport.

And of course, last but not least, cycling is a great form of transport, which means that you can integrate it into your day and kill two birds with one stone – get fit and get to work without having to deal with traffic!

Yoga

Yoga is an ancient health practice that began in India centuries ago and has since been exported around the world to a growing number of faithful followers. In a nutshell, yoga is a range of activities or poses that must be held for different lengths of time, with a focus on your breathing while doing it.

Some advocates of yoga believe that it is more akin to a fusion between exercise and meditation, and numerous studies have found that those who practice yoga report less stress and tension than previously.

There are a number of different types of yoga, as the practice evolved over time in different regions. One of the most popular and fast-growing areas in Australia is Bikram yoga, which involves undertaking a traditional yoga workout in a specially heated room (a little like a sauna) to increase the health benefits of the poses.

Benefits of yoga include improved blood circulation which has great positive consequences for the cardiovascular system which can lower blood pressure and improve heart health.

There is also evidence that there are associated benefits for the digestive system, as well as the musculoskeletal system. This is because the body is manipulated through a wide range of possible motions when attempting yoga poses, which has the effect of strengthening all areas, rather than those that are only called upon for common movements.

So there you have it, we hope that our brief overview of the fitness activities of some of the team here at Scott Partners has inspired you to give one or both a try!

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