Updated:May 22,2014

Yoga groupYoga, a 5,000-year-old spiritual system, is now ubiquitous in the United States.

There seems to be a type of yoga practice for everyone. Some are based on toning, stretching and strength, while others are devoted to relaxation and meditation.

Practicing yoga -- as part of an overall healthy lifestyle – can:

  • help lower blood pressure,
  • increase lung capacity,
  • improve respiratory function,
  • improve balance
  • boost circulation and
  • tone muscles.
  • It also can give you a sense of well-being while building strength.
In addition, yoga poses require stretching, increasing flexibility.

Flexibility activities are an appropriate part of a physical activity program. However, yoga does not count toward the 150-minutes-per-week of recommended moderate activity. That’s due in part because some forms of yoga do not raise the heart rate enough to achieve moderate intensity aerobic activity for a sustained period.

If you have a chronic condition, check with a doctor first to see which types and amounts of yoga practice is safe for you.

Learn more:

Physical Activity

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