Tweet Chat Recap: Yogi Meets Dietitian in Honor of National Yoga Month
A recap of the tweet chat on 9/23 with Kathleen Uhran of SheRocksFitnesstx.com:
Q1: How can yoga help you achieve overall better health?
The benefits of yoga are never-ending! It helps mentally, physically, emotionally.
Yoga can help to relieve or manage stress = better mental health and psychological well being.
Better stress management can lead to better sleep and more energy.
Researchers from Harvard found that 8 weeks of daily yoga significantly improved sleep quality for people with insomnia.
Yoga practice can lead to stronger muscles or muscle gains, which can lead to improved metabolism. Strength exercise can also yield stronger bones which helps with stability. These are important factors in healthy aging.
It also improves other areas of training such as running, cycling, strength training.
Yoga can improve flexibility and help you feel less stiff or tired.
A review of studies showed yoga may be as effective if not better than exercise at improving health-related outcomes/benefits
A recent Norwegian study found that yoga practice results in changes in gene expression that boost immunity at a cellular level. This can lead to less illness and complaints.
Q2: How do I decide what type of yoga is best for my lifestyle and needs?
There are more than 100 different types of yoga but they all have 1 unified goal: the state of pure bliss and oneness with the universe.
Try out different classes, teachers, & studios, to find what works best for YOU.
To get the most benefit, choose style that matches your current fitness level, your personality & goals for practicing yoga.
Some challenging, high intensity types of yoga include: Bikram and Ashtanga
Gentle and beginner yoga includes: Hatha and Iyengar
Here's a chart to help you figure out which one is right for you
Q3: What is the best food/fuel before doing yoga and after yoga?
Pre-workout fuel depends on the type of yoga and how soon you'll be engaging in it
A healthy, balanced meal (fruit, vegetables, protein, carb) will be good for 2-3 hours before a yoga session
A small snack with simple sugars (like fruit) is best for 15-30 mins before a yoga session because your body can burn this energy quickly to use. If you eat something with complex carbs like bread or pasta, your body will use all the energy to digest this food instead of as energy for muscles and you'll end up feeling really tired.
If you are engaging in a power yoga class like Bikram, consider adding some protein to your snack (e.g. small protein shake) because this will help to prevent your muscle tissue from breaking down, especially if the length of the class will be more than 70 mins.
Post-workout fuel depends on the amount of activity you did.
For beginner/gentle yoga, a healthy balanced meal should be enough to replenish your fuel. Make half your plate fruit/vegetable, 1/4 protein and 1/4 complex carb (brown rice, sweet potato, etc.).
For difficult/challenging yoga, at least 25g of protein (from whole food or protein powder) immediately after your workout will help the muscles to recover. Alternately, you can consume a healthy, balanced meal including at least 25 g of protein.
Even if you didn't do much sweating, make sure you consume some water to hydrate.
Consider taking a multivitamin/mineral to replenish that which was used during the workout.
Q4: Are there basic yoga moves/meditations I can do while at the office or during travel away from home?