Reason #29: Yoga improves cardio health

We all know regular cardio is part of a healthy lifestyle. In addition to helping us maintain a healthy weight and have energy in everyday activities, cardio can improve cognitive function, focus, and even protect against memory loss as we age. 

When we think of cardio workouts, we may picture running, cycling and other activities that involve lots of space and movement. Most people don't realize just how much cardio you can get without ever leaving your yoga mat!

Cardiovascular fitness is the ability of our heart, lungs and blood cells to deliver oxygen-rich blood to working muscles. We improve our cardio health by engaging in sustained activity that elevates our heart rates, also know as aerobic training. Specifically, you're looking to stay between 65% and 95% of you maximum heart rate for at least 20 minutes, and to repeat that three to five times a week. What's your max heart rate? You can approximate it by subtracting your age from 220.

Of course hitting the pavement for a run or climbing on the elliptical at the gym can get you a great cardio workout. But many varieties of yoga can too! Try a Vinyasa class, which connects flowing movement with breath work to ensure your heart gets pumping.  If you're interested in reading more about yoga and cardio, check out this Yoga Journal article. And see you at the studio for your next heart-rate-elevating workout!