HEALTH

Get in Shape – Shakira Style!

What do Sasha Sokol, Charytin and Shakira have in common? 

Aside from being beautiful Latina stars, it seems they all use yoga and meditation to stay healthy.
Just recently in Mexico City, a full national display of meditation and yoga was introduced to the population in an effort to reduce the stress many Mexican citizens are feeling.

For many Latina women, yoga and meditation aren’t a part of their daily fitness routine, but they are growing in popularity around the world and the benefits are widely celebrated. And it’s not only these stars who are promoting the benefits of yoga, some of characters on your favorite telenovelas may soon be seen reaping the health benefits.

So what are the benefits?

Stress reduction. Yoga is a very quiet, often spiritual experience for many people. Poses require balance and concentration, taking your focus away from the chaos of your busy day.

Increased balance, flexibility, range of motion, strength and even posture.

Management of chronic health conditions. Studies suggest yoga and meditation may help with many different conditions like cancer, depression, pain, anxiety and insomnia.

Heart health. Yoga has been known to reduce your heart rate and blood pressure.

Weight loss. Striking those yoga poses works a variety of muscles throughout the body and meditating can help your state of mind when it comes to making healthy lifestyle choices and appetite control.

Improved lung function. Yoga requires careful deep breathing techniques often used for meditating. One study found that just twenty minutes of yoga three times a week for six weeks improved lung function in healthy young participants.

Learning and memory function. Some studies have suggested that yoga may have a positive effect on a person’s ability to learn and remember information.

Personally, I think yoga is a great way to exercise your mind and your body. But personally, I think I may still prefer salsa dancing!

Dr. Manny Alvarez is a Cuban-American OB-GYN who serves as a senior medical contributor for the Fox News Channel and senior managing health editor of FOXNews.com. To read more from Dr. Manny, click here

Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. For more information on Dr. Manny's work, visit AskDrManny.com.