Yoga and Stretching


Yoga and stretching are great exercises that anyone can do just about anywhere, and equipment is not required. Yoga and stretching have well-established physical and mental health benefits, including:

  • Reducing stress and relieving pain;
  • Lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar; and
  • Improving strength and flexibility!

Why not give yoga and stretching a try today?

Health Benefits of Yoga and Stretching

Yoga and stretching can improve mental and physical health, and has beneficial effects on many conditions commonly experienced by commercial vehicle operators. For more information, please see the Yoga Health Foundation website.

Chronic Back Pain

Doctors in Seattle conducted a 12 week trial study, comparing the benefits of yoga against therapeutic exercises and a handbook on self-care for chronic back pain. The yoga group showed greater improvement and the benefits lasted 14 weeks longer than the other treatments (Yoga Health Foundation).

Stress Management and Relaxation

Yoga can reduce the physical effects of stress on the body; by encouraging relaxation, yoga helps to lower the levels of the stress hormone cortisol. A recent study at the University of Utah demonstrated that yoga practitioners had the highest pain tolerance (among three groups tested) and lowest pain-related brain activity during an MRI, which implies that yoga can help regulate stress and pain responses. Another study found that yoga participants with mental health conditions improved their condition following a three-month trial, with depression improving by 50%, anxiety by 20%, and overall wellbeing scores increasing 65% (see Harvard Health Publications).

Heart Disease

Several trials have found that yoga can lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and resting hear rates, and help slow the progression of atherosclerosis—all risk factors for heart disease. Experts speculate yoga’s meditative component may give it an extra boost over standard exercise regimens by helping to stabilize the endothelium, the lining of blood vessels that – when irritated – contributes to cardiovascular disease. A randomized controlled trial of 42 men with heart disease (coronary artery disease, or CAD) were assigned to control groups and a yoga treatment group. After a year, the yoga group showed improvements in several key health measures over the control group, including reductions in the number of anginal episodes per week, total and LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels all decreased. In addition, more coronary lesions regressed over the control group (20% versus 2%), and fewer lesions progressed in the yoga group (5% versus 37%; Yoga Health Foundation).

Yoga and Stretching Videos

Check out these free videos below. This curated video list was made with the needs and context of commercial vehicle operators in mind.

Yoga for Complete Beginners – 20 Minute Yoga Workout

Quick Yoga at Your Desk – Seated Yoga

Yoga for Back Pain – Yoga Basics

Yoga for Stress Relief – 7 Minute Practice

 

Yoga and Stretching Resources

Yoga Health Foundation

Harvard Health Publications: Yoga for anxiety and depression