We all know that COVID-19 changed everything, and that certainly includes how we stay healthy, sane, and fit. One of the ways that myself and others, including my dear friend Liz Bagheai, owner of The School of Stretch, a hot yoga studio in Burbank, made this a reality was by blending intentional-based exercise with weightlifting.
Combinations of intentional-based exercise may include weightlifting & yoga, boxing & deep stretching, or spinning with Pilates. Although deep stretching, yoga and Pilates are most often associated with “intentional-based” exercise, as Liz and I both know, targeted weightlifting, (AKA strength training) can be equally intentional. And, contrary to an erroneous widespread belief, the goal of weightlifting for most people is not to bulk up or put on mass.
Benefits of Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi
Intentional movement, also known as intentional exercise, is an umbrella term for free-body, deep-stretching practices that aim to improve balance, increase muscle tone, increase flexibility and agility, and promote overall health and wellness. Examples include yoga, Pilates, and tai chi. The science concludes these practices achieve all these intended goals and then some, including:
- Inflammation reduction
- Lowering blood pressure
- Pain reduction
- Reducing symptoms of asthma
- Reducing symptoms of chronic diseases
- Reducing symptoms of depression
- Stimulating brain function
- Stress & anxiety relief
Science-Backed Benefits of Weightlifting
Strength training isn’t just for gym bros. Weightlifting offers myriad benefits for people of all sexes, genders, and ages. The science-backed benefits include:
- Aids in blood sugar regulation
- Decreases belly fat
- Improves brain health
- Improves cardiovascular health
- Increases flexibility
- Increases metabolic rate
- Makes you look leaner
- Reduces your risk of falling
- Reduces your risk of injury
- Strengthens your bones
Yes. You read that last benefit correctly. And it is a primary reason that strength training in conjunction with, not “as opposed to” a deep stretching practice such as Yoga or Pilates is such a winning combination. But don’t just take it from me.
Best of Both Worlds: Yoga & Weights
When Liz, a longtime yoga devotee decided to add weightlifting to her yoga practice, she realized the following:
“For a long time, I was uncertain about starting any type of weight training since I have always been naturally strength-based. I was uninterested in getting too tight. However, I now realize that strength training in a smart way has actually allowed me to strengthen parts of my body (especially the underworked parts such as my upper back and chest), which has led to better balance overall. It makes me feel as though I have a renewed relationship with my musculature.”
Continuing she said “I appreciate my yoga practice so much more now. Being able to stretch in postures after a challenging training session allows me to recover so much faster.”
If you’re a devoted yogi, Pilates junkie, or love nothing more than deep stretching, I encourage you to consider adding strength training to your fitness regimen. You won’t “bulk up” unless you want to. But you may just find that you’ve achieved the next-level physical and mental health we all need to navigate the challenges of this modern world.
If you’re unsure how to begin a weightlifting routine that will complement your intentional-based exercise regimen, get help from a personal trainer.
About SY Performance
SY Performance offers in-person and hybrid training at Conquer All Things Fitness Studio, located at 1218 Magnolia Blvd in Burbank. SY Performance was founded by Burbank-based celebrity personal trainer Scott Yonehiro. Yonehiro created and launched the first “90 Day Body Transformation Program” in 2010. To date, thousands of individuals have completed the program, which utilizes a proprietary combination of science-based techniques coupled with fitness, nutrition, and mindset exercises to help individuals of all ages lose weight, reduce body fat, and increase muscle.
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