Yoga aids in improving the health of your bones. This is not the first thing that you probably think of when considering yoga. But it can be one of the greatest tools at your disposal to improve your bones. The following are seven ways that yoga helps to improve your bones.
1. It works out your muscles
Yoga helps to stretch and work out your muscles, making them grow larger and stronger. This of course means that the bones will also have to grow bigger and stronger to be able to hold and move these muscles. This is generally how bones grow, by the size and strength of the muscles that they carry.
In fact, this is how archaeologists can guess the profession of a dead person they find in the ground. From looking at his bones, they can estimate how big his muscles were, and hence what his job probably was.
2. It works on your joints
The poses and positions involved in yoga take a lot of stretching and turning that helps to flex and lubricate your joints, so that they can work better and cause less pain.
3. Puts weight on your bones
Bones also need resistance or weight for them to grow properly as well. Yoga provides this perfectly. In fact, yoga puts more weight on bones than gravity does, causing cells that are responsible for bone production (the osteocytes) to develop more bones. Yoga creates this weight by moving and stretching different muscles in opposite directions.
4. Improved posture
Yoga helps to straighten and correct the natural pose and posture of people, which is a major reason for why bones are not healthy. For example thoracic spine compression fractures are caused by having a forward-bent posture, but yoga helps to prevent this by straightening the posture.
5. Reduced chances of bone injury
A research conducted by the psychiatrist Dr. Loren M. Fishman of Columbia University on 741 participants, for 10 years showed that those who performed yoga regularly were less likely to fracture or break their bones because yoga made them stronger, and also because yoga gave them a proper posture, so they were less likely to fall and injure themselves.
6. Improves internal support
Yoga also helps to increase the quality and strength of bones by increasing the support that bones have on their inside, thereby reducing fractures.
7. Better than the alternate
The main alternative to strengthening bones today, apart from food, is taking drugs. This is especially so for patients suffering from osteoporosis. But these drugs are often expensive, and cause a lot of side effects including, gastrointestinal complications and even bone density loss.
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