Yoga has become increasingly popular since the 1990’s with many different types being practiced. We look at the link between this popular type of exercise and your liver health and what it can do for you.
What’s in this article
- Yoga – the basics
- Getting started
- But what about positions?
Yoga – the basics
Yoga has become increasingly popular over the years and it is easy to see why there are many proven health benefits of practicing regularly. Classes offered nowadays range from traditional styles that honor cultural or spiritual origins, to ones that cater purely to fitness. Benefits include but are not limited to, a better body image, enhancing fitness, mindfulness and cardiovascular benefits.
With that in mind, the change in blood flow has a positive impact on the other organ systems of the body. Mindfulness helps to practice eating healthily and exercise will benefit your overall health including your liver health. A recent study published in the Journal of Hepatology reveals that physical exercise regardless of its intensity or frequency may significantly help in fighting against fatty liver.
It does not matter how old you are, there is never a bad time to start practicing yoga and exercise is very important for liver health. Yoga can help to combat signs of aging, keeping you flexible and fit. There are classes available for all levels from beginners to experts, opt for a smaller more intimate class if you feel that you need direction from your teacher. If there is nothing available in your area a good quality DVD can also be used, the beauty of yoga is that it can be done anywhere, anytime and all you need is comfortable clothes and a mat.
When starting at home try ‘Yoga with Adriene’ perfect for beginners and easy to follow.
Adriene even does a yoga video, especially for liver health.
But what about positions?
There is very little evidence to suggest that any specific yoga positions will benefit your liver and you should certainly not be trying to manipulate these internal organs. Yoga teachers promote detoxifying twists, and dieters talk of detoxifying diets. But health professionals are unconvinced.
“If you start talking about exercising to detoxify, there’s no scientific data,” said Dr. Elizabeth Matzkin, chief of women’s sports medicine at Harvard Medical School. “The human body is designed to get rid of what we don’t need.”
“A statement like “twists wring out the organs” is inaccurate and incomplete if we are looking at the anatomy and physiology of the visceral organs” – Amy Matthews co-director of The Breathing Project’s Advanced Studies Program in New York City and has been teaching anatomy and kinesiology for over 15 years.
Nancy Clark, a registered dietitian in Boston, Massachusetts and a member of the American College of Sports Medicine, said that your body generally does a good job of detoxifying itself through the liver and kidneys. Sweating has nothing to do with it.
Exercise helps with weight loss which helps prevent Fatty Liver Disease and many other diseases. Practicing Yoga is certainly beneficial for your health in many ways however evidence supporting the direct benefit towards liver health is very minimal. The best way to help promote a healthy liver is with regular exercise, healthy lifestyle choices and eating a well-balanced diet.