Yoga Builds Muscle


Yoga is great for flexibility and minimizing stress – but can it help build muscle?

The ability to build muscle depends on a number of factors, not the least of which are:

– Genetics

– Nutrition

– Rest/ Sleep

– Exercise

Yoga is a workout in itself – effectively body weight/balance work : push-ups, squats, sit-ups, lunges, handstands, headstands, stretches. If you think that yoga sounds easy – do an one hour yoga class then we can talk. I’m not against gym work (I do it and enjoy it), but things like yoga and even simply walking can enhance the effect and help burn body fat and promote muscle.

Building muscle can be hard, but maintaining a good base is relatively easy – both building and maintaining are made easier with lower stress hormones (eg  Cortisol).

So what has happened to me after several months of yoga? (male – already long term eating well and going to the gym, with reasonable starting base):

– Increased bulk (lean)

– Increased flexibility

– More balanced : now can do headstands and handstands

– Stronger legs

– Less stressed and happier

– Sleep better

How much of it can purely attributed to Yoga? : I’m not sure.

How much of it is placebo effect? (a real phenomenon) : I’m not sure

Though nothing works alone – everything works part of a system (eg weightlifting alone, won’t yield much if nutrition is poor, stress is high, sleep is bad and you’re not happy).

Perhaps if Yoga is part of your routine, you might find muscle is added and other aspects of your life improve.

Any thoughts on this : Does yoga promote muscle?







Paleo Diet – the worst diet of 2014 (and it’s still only mid January)


I’m re-thinking my ‘Paleo Diet’.

Recently a panel of health experts ranked Paleo as the worst diet of 32 popular diets they looked at.

This has me very worried…..I may need to re-consider my nutrition.

They ranked the Slim Fast diet at 13 that’s much better than that last place getter (32) for Paleo. I’m pretty sure I could sustain 3 shakes and day and their bars for the rest of my life – surely I won’t become nutrient deficient on that. All the sugar, veg oil and chemicals they put in there sounds yummy!

Or there’s the biggest loser diet at 9th place – last time I saw that it included a lot of being yelled at by trainers and the participants crying all over the place – I think crying after being yelled at is very slimming. A lot of 8 hour days on the tread mill and eating at an extreme calorie deficit seems to be something I could work in to my daily routine – I just need someone to yell at me – a lot!

What was I thinking with MY version of ‘Paleo’?:

Meat, Fish, Chicken, Eggs, Liver, Vegetables (including potatoes, onions, garlic), Fermented foods, Rice, Natural Dairy, Nuts, Fruit (including berries), Honey, herbs/spices

Exercise (lifting/pushing/pulling weights), Walking, Low stress, relaxation, plenty of sleep.

As if you’ll lose excess weight (body fat) with that – or build muscle and start to show the outline of a six-pack.

Crazy talk! – now I got to get me some Slim Fast and someone to yell at me!

Thanks “panel of health experts” ! – you’ve done it again.