Shantel Marcum poses 7 “om”-azing benefits of yoga

It’s difficult to carve out time for exercise or self-care. Yet Shantele Marcum encourages you to be a little more flexible. Literally.

Yoga is all about bending and stretching. But it’s also so much more. Backed by countless research, yoga has been proven to improve physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

And Shantele Marcum wants to share these benefits with others. In addition to adopting the ancient practice as part of her own fitness routine, the Sarasota resident has also become a qualified yoga instructor. When she isn’t working as a Realtor for RE/MAX Platinum Realty, she is devoted to helping other yoga practitioners achieve new levels of wellness through yoga.

With this in mind, Shantele Marcum draws on her own experience to share seven reasons yoga should be a part of your health and fitness regime too.

Improve flexibility

Balance, flexibility, and stability are perhaps the best-known benefits of yoga. And there are considerable studies to support these claims. In research conducted by the International Journal of Yoga, these improvements were found across all age groups. As Shantele Marcum points out, the barrier to entry is pretty low. These benefits were visible after only 15-30 minutes of yoga each day.

Build muscle

Skip the gym. Lifting weights isn’t the only way to add strength. The National Institutes of Health‘s database is full of research correlating yoga with higher levels of upper body strength, weight loss, and stamina. This is achieved through incorporating fundamental poses, like Warrior II and Locust, regularly.

Assist posture

And these new muscles aren’t just for looks either. They produce secondary benefits, like improved posture and joint stability. Unlike weight training alone, yoga is comprehensive and less specialized. Elderly yoga participants report relief from chronic symptoms, like arthritis and back pain.

Reduce stress

Despite the key physical benefits, yoga is also mental. It promotes relaxation. Controlled breathing and meditation melt away anxiety. The ultimate goal is peacefulness and tranquility. For example, Shantele Marcum feels more energetic and less stressed throughout the day after practicing yoga. And she’s not alone. And science supports this feeling. Yoga enthusiasts produce fewer stress hormones when compared to non-practitioners.

Aid sleep

Less stress means better rest. The equation is simple. But the consequences of inadequate sleep can be costly. Serious health issues, such as obesity and depression, have been linked to poor or insufficient sleep. As with most forms of exercise, yoga enables participants to fall asleep quicker and sleep deeper. Even beginners experience this almost immediately. Proper sleep impacts your entire day.

Foster a healthy lifestyle

Mindfulness is a core component of yoga. With heightened awareness, yoga devotees embrace healthier life choices overall. Improved eating habits, established exercise routines, and an overall balanced lifestyle are byproducts. In some circumstances, yoga may decrease binge-eating disorders.

Boost heart health

Add all these benefits together, and your heart is much happier (and healthier) too. Exercise alone is enough to elevate the heart rate, which is always advantageous. However, yoga extends this even further. Seasoned yoga followers, like Shantele Marcum, typically exhibit lower blood pressure and resting heart rates. These factors drastically lower the risk of heart disease.