Okay I will admit it, I am an absolute cardio addict. I love the feeling of my heart rate rising and sweat pouring out of me with each workout. This is probably why I have always gravitated to things like marathons, hot yoga, running, spinning… you get the point. If you're a fellow cardio addict, you probably don’t feel like you have even gotten remotely close to a hard workout without at least forty-five minutes of cardio involved. Thirty minutes on the treadmill just isn’t going to cut it for us folks, and a solid three mile run is a great…warm up?
Your Body Needs More Than Just Cardio
Does any of this sound familiar? Let’s just go ahead and nickname ourselves the energizer cardio bunnies, shall we? We can just keep on going and going in the cardio department, and while that may be great for our egos, is it honestly really that great for our bodies? Is it going to make us overall stronger and more toned? Realistically, once you get to the point where an hour run is no big deal, you are not improving from a physical fitness standpoint and if you are trying to lose weight, most likely you are going to plateau.
Yoga Isn't Tough Enough? Think Again, Buddy!
So here is my advice to all you cardio addicts who can relate to me out there… do yoga. Just do it! Don’t tell me that it is just not your thing, or it is not a hard enough workout, or there is no way you will get a good enough sweat session in for it to be worth your time. Yoga is for athletes! Trust me, you can find a class that will meet all of your fitness needs and more. As a seasoned cross-country runner and marathoner, I thought the same exact thing before beginning yoga and then I got my butt kicked in a Bikram Class, and literally felt my thighs light on fire in a Hot Power Vinyasa Yoga practice. When I say that yoga will change your life for the better as an athlete I mean it and I can tell you from my own personal experience that yoga is beneficial for every type of person, male or female, weight lifter or runner.
Yoga Can Take You To The Next Level
Currently I train a number of athletes whose main focuses for physical fitness range from hockey, to weight lifting, to running. The one thing they all have in common with one another is consistent athletic improvement. Since beginning a regular yoga practice their other athletic activities have begun to improve, when before, they had been at somewhat of a fitness plateau. The runners I train find that their ability to breathe through their workouts has greatly increased as has their recovery time after a race. The weight lifters, through increased flexibility in their shoulders, have been able to increase their weights after being at a stand still for months. And those are just a few examples of athletes that have taken their practice to the next level with yoga.
So please for all you cardio addicts, athletes, and yoga skeptics out there do yourselves a favor and give yoga a shot. Every week I will be highlighting a different type of fitness activity and how a particular style of yoga or posture could really make a big difference in your athletic experiences, so come on back next week for more yoga inspiration! I will also be adding some great nutrition information to go along with your newly well rounded athletic lifestyle.