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Benefits of Yoga for the Immune System

Review shows relationship between practice and reductions in inflammatory markers.

Group of people practicing yoga for the immune system

Can you use yoga for the immune system? Yoga practice may have beneficial effects on inflammatory markers and cortisol levels, indicating its potential benefit for people with diabetes or arthritis who have inflammatory components, as noted in a study in Brain, Behavior, & Immunity— Health  (2022; 20, [100421]). Strong evidence shows that you may be able to use yoga for the immune system since yoga practice can reduce cortisol levels, particularly for people with high stress and/or anxiety and depression, as well as inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein and cytokines, especially for older adults. More research is recommended.

See also: Does Exercise Suppress the Immune System?

Question of the Month

Surveys show that, with the pandemic experience, people are more interested in training to receive immune system benefits and to feel happier. Exercise is one of the best ways to boost immune system health and promote a positive mood. What, if anything, are you doing to inform clients of these benefits of exercise training? Are you offering any programs that address these growing consumer interests? Tell us about your experiences.

We want to hear from you! Email executive editor Joy Keller, [email protected].

Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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November-December 2020 IDEA Fitness Journal

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