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Yoga: Getting Fit for a New Year and a New You

By Stephen R. Farris

When dealing with back, muscle or joint pain, visiting and talking with your local chiropractor and getting the treatments you need can help reduce your pain and often times, make it go away. 

For some, though, pain management for aching backs, muscles and joints can be done through exercise, especially if you have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. One of the best exercises to try is yoga.

Yoga is believed to have originated in India somewhere around the sixth to fifth centuries BCE. It combines physical exercise with stress relief and relaxation therapy. Yoga's gentle movements are good on your joints and muscles, as they produce little to no stress on them. Yoga may offer other health benefits as well. To find out if yoga is a good start in helping you stay active, talk with your local chiropractor about it. They may have additional suggestions for you to try as well.

Once you are cleared to start yoga -- or any exercise regimen -- you might want to test the waters first, then do some shopping. This time of year is a great way to gear up as many stores and online outlets feature deals from mats to clothing.

Just in Time for Christmas

Since most yoga classes are offered by your local gym, they may offer membership or class discounts to help get you started. Plus, they are indoors for the most part so you'll want to dress comfortably. Typically, yoga attire consists of tank tops, yoga pants or sweats, socks -- you can exercise in bare feet if you like -- and/or tennis shoes. You may need your own mat as well and you'll need a bag to carry it in. Check your local big box store in your area to see what they have in stock. However, you may have to go online and search for these items.

Props: They're Not Just Used for Theater

For folks with RA, or other arthritic conditions, you may want to try using props to make the exercise experience more enjoyable and less painful. Yoga wedges are great tools to have handy as they give you a soft support under your knees, hips and wrists, taking a lot of stress away from those joints while you perform certain movements. Sandbags, filled with anything from pebbles to beans, help give you pressure when placed on your thigh to help open up your hips. Yoga wheels can help when stretching your chest and shoulder areas.

There are other items that you can purchase to aid in your exercises too. But the first thing to do is check with your doctor or chiropractor to make sure you are healthy enough to start an exercise routine. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Peachtree Corners, Ga.

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