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Yoga, Cardio, or Strength Training?

Which type of exercise is right for me? Is lifting weights going to give me the best result? Maybe I should concentrate on running - that will really help to strengthen my heart. What about yoga - everyone says yoga is good for flexibility. All of us, at one point or another, have had these conversations with ourselves. We're continually bombarded with exercise-related stories on television, in magazines, and in our electronic newsreaders. But many of us don't know how to put the information we're receiving to good use. We don't have a context or framework with which to assess the potential value in these media communications.

For most of us, a very good answer to the exercise conundrum is to do a variety of activities on a weekly basis. We know this intuitively. Concentrating on one type of exercise will usually lead to the loss of other important benefits. Again for most of us, across-the-board benefits are required. We need to maintain or increase a healthful amount of lean muscle mass. We gain this benefit from strength training. We need to maintain or improve cardiovascular strength and health. These are obtained from aerobic-type exercise such as brisk walking, running, swimming, or bicycling.1 We need to maintain or improve flexibility and stretchability. These benefits are gained from yoga. Each category of physical fitness is necessary for ongoing health and well-being. Thus, each of the three main categories of exercise is needed to ensure we obtain the full range of benefits.

It's important to be aware that each exercise category provides a distinct benefit, and as such no individual category is a "better" than the others. Doing exercise consistently is what counts. Going further, consistently doing a range of types of exercise provides lasting health benefits. There might be times when a person chooses to focus on one specific category. That's fine, provided that the other two categories continue to be incorporated on a temporarily reduced basis. After a while, the person will usually choose to return to a broader approach.

Finally, most people are familiar with strength training and the various types of cardiovascular exercise. Not everyone is familiar with yoga. There are numerous other activities that promote flexibility and stretchability, and yoga is not the only means of obtaining these benefits. But many people have discovered that yoga in itself is complete exercise. Regular yoga practice provides strength training, cardiovascular training, and deep training of the proprioceptive system (the body's awareness of position in 3-dimensional space) which leads to improved agility and balance.2,3 Regular yoga practice adds lean muscle mass and lowers the heart rate (as a result of improved cardiovascular capacity). Those who do yoga are "light on their feet". Yoga is a remarkable exercise system and could be sufficient in itself for long-lasting health and wellness. But when a person adds a weight lifting program and specific cardiovascular training, the remarkable benefits of cross-training kick in. The overall gains achieved are noticeably enhanced. Thus, a broad program of strength training, cardiovascular training, and yoga can lead to the best results.

1Snel M, et al: Effects of Adding Exercise to a 16-Week Very Low-Calorie Diet in Obese, Insulin-Dependent Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Patients. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2012 May 8 (Epub ahead of print)

2Galantino ML, et al: Impact of Yoga on Functional Outcomes in Breast Cancer Survivors With Aromatase Inhibitor-Associated Arthralgias. Integr Cancer Ther 2011 July 6 (DOI: 10.1177/1534735411413270)

3Kiecolt-Glaser JK, et al: Adiponectin, leptin, and yoga practice. Physiol Behav 2012 Jan 27 (Epub ahead of print)

Multicare Health Clinic

3930 STADIUM DR
SIOUX CITY, IA 51106
Phone Number: (712) 276-4325

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Monday:

8:30 am-6:30 pm

Tuesday:

8:30 am-6:30 pm

Wednesday:

8:30 am-6:30 pm

Thursday:

8:30 am-6:30 pm

Friday:

8:30 am-2:00 pm

Saturday:

Closed

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Testimonials

  • "I wasn't able to use my hand the way I should. After working with Dr. Sneller and the physical therapy team, I can use my hand again."
    Ivy I.
  • "Dr. Sneller helped. I haven't been feeling dizzy anymore."
    Belinda B
  • "After my knee surgery I was asked where I wanted to do my physical therapy, I chose Multicare Health Clinic and I'm so glad I did! Dr. Steve and the therapy assistants (Sara and Megan) are fabulous! They know what they're doing and they all really seemed to care about my recovery. I'm feeling fantastic! I'll definitely go back again whenever I need therapy or adjustments."
    Sheri J.
  • "I leave here feeling confident that I have the resources to manage my pain and live normally, and that's priceless."
    Alycen V.
  • "I now can go a full week without pain and headaches."
    Luke W.
  • "Being able to present my back pain to three different professions in one place and knowing that they are working together to make me better is very comforting."
    Charlie P.
  • "My shoulder and neck feel so much better. I now have the knowledge, motivation, desire and tools to keep up the exercises."
    Barb B.
  • "There couldn't be a better physical therapy team in Siouxland! Not only did my knee feel so much better after six weeks, but I feel like I made new friends."
    Karla K.
  • "At night my right hand would go painfully numb at least 2-3 times where I could not sleep. Now, I don't have that pain and can get a full night sleep."
    Janet D.
  • "I wasn't able to use my hand the way I should. After working with Dr. Sneller and the physical therapy team, I can use my hand again."
    Henry H.
  • "After an accident at work I didn't think I'd ever get relief from my aching shoulder. But, the doctors at Multicare gave me adjustments and physical therapy and now I feel normal again."
    Cliff C.
  • "I'm a runner. When I wasn't able to run due to leg problems, I was devastated. But a consultation at Multicare Health Clinic identified the problem and after some adjustments, stimulation treatments and therapy, I'm running again!"
    Lisa L.
  • "I'm now a believer now! I didn't think chiropractic could help my foot problems. But after meeting with Dr. Pistello and Dr. Dave for a few weeks, I'm feeling so much better!"
    Gino G.
  • "My company encouraged all of us employees to get screened at Multicare. I didn't know what to expect. It was easy and I learned so much. The orthotics they prescribed really help me to feel more stable and confident at work."
    Jim J.
  • "I'm so glad my sister referred me to Multicare! My elbow hasn't felt this good in a long time. Thanks to the great physical therapy team there."
    Ellen E.
  • "Not only is my pain level down to zero, but what I'm really thrilled with, is that I have normal feeling in my hands."
    Jill L.
  • "After my consultatin with the doctors at Multicare Health Clinic, I understand how to address my balance issues."
    Anna A.