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Yoga - The New Fitness

Every five years or so a new fitness craze sweeps through the culture. Television news anchors blather on about the latest, greatest exercise programs. Newspapers and magazines publish features in their Sunday sections, filled with pictures of glistening, glowing, glamorous celebrities hard at work on the new routines.

Back in the mid-1980s, aerobics classes were the leading edge of these fitness booms. Then after people found out the hard way that all that jumping up-and-down caused stress fractures and other injuries, low-impact aerobics was the thing to do. The world of strength training has also seen many fads come and go. Exercising on Nautilus equipment, circuit training, and high-weight/low-rep training have all had their day. The most recent strength training fad involves using "kettlebells" rather than traditional dumbbells and barbells to move weight around.

Many people who try out brand-new workout styles eventually find that the things they learned long ago are actually the methods that work best. In terms of overall strength and fitness, the push-ups, pull-ups, squat-thrusts, jumping jacks, and standing long jumps that high school gym teachers used to make us do were actually very good for us and still are very good.

Most of those compound exercises we'd grudgingly do as teenagers, complaining and groaning all the while, were great for building core strength. In those days, though, no one was talking about core strength - the overall concept wasn't clearly defined as such. But the results of the workouts were plain for all to see. Core strength is now an important focus of overall fitness. Pilates classes - based on fundamental principles of core fitness - started to dominate the health-and-fitness media in the 1990s.

The rise of yoga classes as a fitness phenomenon has roughly paralleled the popularity of Pilates classes. Joseph Pilates developed his training methods in the 1930s and his programs have become widely known within the last 20 years. Yoga, of course, is an interrelated set of branches, styles, and disciplines, many of which are centuries old. Hatha yoga, a well-known method, was initially described in the 15th century by Yogi Swatmarama. Yoga has become a popular exercise program for people of all ages and levels of fitness. Participants in a typical yoga class include middle schoolers, teenagers, college students, and adults of all ages, including older adults in their 70s and 80s.

As a fitness method, yoga offers a complete range of activities in one hour-long class. A yoga workout includes strength-building exercises, rapid series of movements that are intensely aerobic, and flexibility routines.1,2,3 Participants learn how to focus and concentrate. Yoga students learn how to calm their mind. Participants learn how to breathe so that energy is available for the hard work of the class. Importantly, beginners can work at their own pace and are able to derive as much benefit as the most experienced students in the class.

Yoga classes provide life-affirming benefits that last all day long. Additionally the endorphin response is profound, enhancing well-being while simultaneously strengthening the immune system. Yoga is a total-body training system that literally involves the body, mind, and spirit.

1Williams K, et al: Evaluation of the effectiveness and efficacy of Iyengar yoga therapy on chronic low back pain. Spine 34(19):2066-2076, 2009

2Tekur P, et al: Effect of short-term intensive yoga program on pain, functional disability and spinal flexibility in chronic low back pain: a randomized control study. J Altern Complement Med 14(6):637-644, 2008

3Chandwani KD, et al: Yoga improves quality of life and benefit finding in women undergoing radiotherapy for breast cancer. J Soc Integr Oncol 8(2):43-55, 2010

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Reviews By Our Satisfied Patients

  • "I have been going to chiropractors off and on for many years but only when my back was hurting to a point where I had trouble walking due to the back pain. I’ve had a bad back off and on for as long as I can remember so I was anxious to find permanent relief. I started going to Dr. Kip about 2 years ago and after several months I was put on a maintenance program, initially twice a week and months later, once a week. Since I’ve been on the maintenance program, I’ve had no regular issues. These regular visits also have other benefits due to discussions with the Dr. and office staff and info on the “health T.V.”"
    -Ron R.
  • "I have been coming to see Dr. Kip for almost a year. I started coming in because of my back pain but I wasn’t really sure what chiropractic was or how it could help. Today I feel I have a much better understanding and that chiropractic is a very good and necessary asset of healing. My back pain is not so severe now. It feels better, and when it does begin to hurt I know what to do to make it better. The kindness and understanding of the office staff give the whole experience a calming and reassuring vibe."
    -Joycie G.
  • "Our family has been coming to see Dr. Kip for 2 years. We came in initially because Julie was having severe shoulder pain along with numbness in her arms. She thought it was linked to a problem in her neck. Brian suffered from migraines every few months. We didn’t know much about chiropractic care before. We’d had some in the past but never on a regular basis. I believe our family is healthier as a result of chiropractic care. In fact this year has been the healthiest year for our family with no sickness other than colds and Brian experiencing fewer migraines! We love the staff, of course, and the affordable care plan allows our entire family to receive care."
    -Brian K. and Family