Whether you’re following a new recipe or cooking up an old favorite, spending time in the kitchen can boost your health. But, did you know that practicing yoga can have the same positive effects on your health as making a meal?
Lowers Anxiety & Stress
For many, cooking lowers stress because it allows you to focus on something else rather than whatever was bothering you.
Whether you’re choosing ingredients, cutting vegetables or adding spices, cooking lets us be creative, which can also lower stress.If you’re butchering down meats or chopping vegetables, you can also get the frustrations of the day out on your food, rather than someone else!
With everyone’s hectic schedules, as well as all the crowds and other stressors in life, cooking can be our personal quiet time. Spending quality time alone can be a great stress-buster because it allows you to connect with your inner self.
Just as cooking works to quiet the mind and lower stress, so does yoga.
Yoga has been shown to decrease the main stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline. In order to feel an improvement, most studies show you need to practice yoga regularly for 30 to 60 minutes a day, five days a week for 3-6 months.
Can help you lose weight
You may not think that cooking and eating can help you lose weight, but it can. While we all like to go out to eat on occasion, cooking your own meals at home can help you lose weight.
A study done by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public health found people who frequently cook meals at home eat healthier and consume fewer calories than those who cook less and go out to eat.
When you’re preparing your own meals, you know exactly what you’re putting into them. Also, when you’re cooking you tend to make smaller portions than you would get served at a restaurant.
Yoga can also help you lose weight. Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle found that overweight people who did yoga at least once a week for 4 or more years lost an average of 5 pounds, while those who didn't do yoga gained an average of 13.5 pounds.
Bottom line…strike a few poses and then make yourself a healthy meal when you’re done and you’ll be well on your way to a healthy lifestyle.
Boost Self-Confidence and Lowers Depression
Making a good meal can make you feel better about yourself. After you’ve made a dish that came out just as you envisioned, you get a self-confidence boost. This makes us feel better about our abilities and helps to keep any feelings of depression away.
Cooking also forces us to focus on something positive, curbing negative thinking and boosting confidence at the same time.
When you practice yoga you can also boost your self-esteem because yoga helps you to become comfortable in your own skin. It teaches you how to calm your mind and body. Yoga also helps to fight depression because it brings a sense of community. Although you are doing the poses alone, you are surrounded by people who share the same interests and goals. This opens up the opportunity to meet new people.
The next time you’re in the kitchen, try striking a few poses while you’re waiting for the water to boil. A shoulder opener is easy to do. Raise your arms over your head and then drop your hands so you’re holding the elbow of your right arm with your left hand. Let your right hand lightly touch your back. Gently pull your elbow behind you head. Breathe and hold for 15 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
If you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle, get in the kitchen and then hit the mat. Then see how much better you look and feel!