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The Yin Yang of Fitness

As a doctor, many of the injuries I see fall into two categories. First are those that live unhealthy lifestyles and have poor cardiovascular health and suffer from strokes and heart attacks. The other are from those that make healthy life decisions but fail to stretch and take care of their body , which result in serious muscle sprains and strains.

Over the years I have met so many yoggies who benefit from the practice of stretching in so many ways, but the one piece they are missing in their exercise program is aerobic HIIT training. I have exercised with them and they can barely keep up with a basic aerobic work out. Not good. And of course, all those intense athletic types that can get up and run half a marathon on a moments notice, who have less than 5% of body fat but who can not touch their toes, sit on the floor for more than 15 minutes with out getting a back ache or their feet and legs falling asleep, those individuals are not doing well either.

Aerobic training is critical to maintain your health. Without aerobic training, the heart begins to fail over time and that leads to high blood pressure, clogged arteries, which leads to heart attack and stroke. And even if you don't’ have a heart attack or a stroke, your chances of getting one are increased by having a sedentary lifestyle or by not having a regular aerobic practice. And if your goal is to improve your cardio vascular system, to decrease your risk, then HIIT is the way to go.

The weakest and most common muscle injured are your neck muscles and your lower back muscles. All the weight training in the world at the fanciest gyms with the more complex machines, won’t strengthen those muscle groups. Our Yoga floor series with various backward bends against gravity strengthen these weak muscles. It’s not good to have great shoulders, triceps, and quads, and gluts if you are going to suffer from debilitating back pain and if you are limping every few months when your back goes out on you. Or how about those people that can’t move their neck; they wake up with a neck tweak, twisted to one side. That incredibly common and incredibly painful.

Weak core muscles are also quite limiting. We can’t play on the floor with our kids, because our backs cant handle sitting on the ground with no support. Sitting in chairs are whole life has weakened our core.

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