Raise your hand if you've declared 2018 as the year that's going to see you transform from a lazy couch potato to a fit and fierce goddess of good health! *raises both arms and heaves from the effort*
However, the road to fitness doesn't have a shortcut, and like me, if you're still struggling to begin your year with positivity and good vibes, why not give yoga a try? More so because it may just be the answer to keeping not just your body, but your brain young too.
According to a recent study done by the Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS), yoga might help in the prevention of age-related degeneration by changing cardiometabolic risk factors and brain-derived neurotrophic factors.
To put it in simple words: Practising yoga regularly can keep your brain younger for much longer, as it is proven to slow down its ageing process. And honestly, since I can't have the Cullens around to bite me, or procure the Philosopher's Stone to grant me my immortality, I am definitely willing to give yoga a try!
According to researchers, the human brain develops until the age of 20 to 30, the development halts around the age of 40 and starts degenerating soon after. The study, which was published in the American Ageing Association, focused not only on the brain but comparative studies were conducted on hypertension, blood pressure, heart rate, and stress — all of which are known to be kept in check thanks to the wonderful effects of yoga!
In parts of the study conducted by Rameswar Pal, Som Nath Singh, Abhirup Chatterjee and Mantu Saha, volunteers were asked to practise yoga for one hour, every day, for three months.
The results of the study showed that dopamine and serotonin levels, which effectively improve motivation, focus, mood and instill positivity, were found to have improved in all the groups after yoga. Cortisol, the hormone released by the body to combat stress, was also greatly reduced in the respondents, towards the end of the study.
"Based on the results of the study, it may be concluded that the ageing process has an active role on degenerative changes in autonomic functions, and monoamines as well as levels of BDNF, which may revert back towards normal or near-normal levels through yogic practice," said the study, according to a report published by PTI.
Which really just says one thing: It's not just your body that needs ample and regular workouts. Your brain needs them just as much, and yoga is the way to go this year!