Happy Spring Yoga & Beach! Yoga Health & Athletic Benefits

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Happy Spring time everyone!  It sure feels great to kick off the winter boots & hit the beach!  With weather warming up first thing I love to do is hit refreshing Beach Runs & revitilizing Yoga on the Beach!  Having my Bachelors Degree in Exercise Science,  Exercise Physiology, Graduating Deans List High Honors from Wesley College & Certified in Sports Medicine by the National Academy of Sports Medicine & Certified in Yoga by the International Sports Medicine Assocation & Certified in Personal Training by the National Academy of Sports Medicine.  Knowing the health benefits of Yoga, I want to encourage & motivate you to enjoy & practice Yoga this Spring & Summer!

In my personal workouts I enjoy doing Yoga every day, also in my weekly workout mix, I also enjoy running, strength training, ballet, modern, hip hop, jazz dance, football fields sprints bleachers, speed agility,  track work, Pilates & I do Yoga daily.  As well as Teaching Yoga one on one & private personal training, I also teach Yoga Fitness Classes.  In my Yoga classes I work with a wide range of  fitness levels & competitive Athletes that has helped them significatly improve for their sports.  It is my passion to add Health Fitness Life & Joy into others Lives. 

Below are fun candid photos of me enjoying my personal Yoga workouts at the Beach, Gym  & even on the Golf Course! 🙂

Take time to cherish & enjoy nature & the beauty all around you! 

Sending you all love, health & blessings!  My passion educating, motivating you to LIVE in Health, Fitness, Strength, Peace, Love & Joy Inside Out!

Cheers to spreading LIFE Health Fitness & Joy!

~Shawn Rene

3 John 1:2 “Beloved, I wish above all things that you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospereth.”

shawn rene zimmerman fitness cover model beach photo shoot

(Action shot on set at Fitness Photo Shoot)

Yoga Strengthens the Heart

YOGA DancerPose Shawn Rene Zimmerman Fitness Model

(Above & below photos are candid photos of me doing Yoga Workout on the beach this week!:) Above photo doing Yoga Dancer Pose, excellent exercise to increase flexibility & range of motion in your upper & lower back, hamstrings, hip flexors, abs, torso, chest & balance.  Below photo me doing standing  Yoga split down dog, excellent exercise to increase flexibility in hips, hamstrings, lower back & strengthen core, arms, chest & shoulders.)

Shawn Rene Zimmerman Yoga Split Shawn Rene Zimmerman Yoga Warrior Pose

Yoga, an ancient Indian practice once viewed as only for the very fit and flexible, has become as American an activity as jogging and aerobics.

Yoga’s combination of specific calming de stressing stretching, breathing, and mindfulness has very special benefits & even strengthens the heart.  Harvard research has also found Yoga helps patients who have had heart disease over come it, by strengthing their heart.

Yoga and the heart

The word “yoga” comes from a Sanskrit term that means union. It aims to join body, mind, and the day-to-day challenges of life into a unified experience rather than keep them separate. There are different forms of yoga, from the gentle, peaceful hatha yoga to the active “power” form called ashtanga.

Hatha yoga’s path to balancing the mind and the body involves three interconnected threads: physical postures called “asanas,” controlled breathing, and calming the mind through relaxation and meditation. The three work together.

Getting into the various postures during a yoga session gently exercises the muscles.   Yoga de stresses & strengthens the muscles, heart &  blood vessels. Activity also helps muscles become more sensitive to insulin, which is important for controlling blood sugar.

The deep-breathing exercises help slow the breathing rate. Taking fewer but deeper breaths each minute lowers blood pressure and calms the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for generating stress hormones. The postures and deep breathing offer a kind of physical meditation that focuses and clears the mind. Meditation and the mindfulness of yoga have both been shown to help people with cardiovascular disease.

More Yoga Health Benefits Within

From lowering blood pressure to increasing pain tolerance, the following health benefits can all be discovered within the body.

  1. Blood pressure. A consistent yoga practice decreases blood pressure through better circulation and oxygenation of the body.
  2. Pulse rate. A slower pulse rate  indicates that your heart is strong enough to pump more blood with fewer beats. Regularly practicing yoga provides a lower pulse rate.
  3. Circulation. Yoga improves blood circulation. By transporting nutrients and oxygen throughout your body, yoga practice provides healthier organs, skin, and brain.
  4. Respiratory. Like the circulatory system, a lower respiratory rate indicates that the lungs are working more efficiently. Yoga decreases the respiratory rate through a combination of controlled breathing exercises and better fitness.
  5. Cardiovascular endurance. A combination of lower heart rate and improved oxygenation to the body (both benefits of yoga) results in higher cardiovascular endurance.
  6. Organs. Yoga practice massages internal organs, thus improving the ability of the body to prevent disease. Additionally, an experienced yoga practitioner becomes better attuned to her body to know at first sign if something isn’t functioning properly, thereby allowing for quicker response to head off disease.
  7. Energy.  Yoga increases circulation & oxygenation & reduces inflammation in the body, increasing energy & vitality
  8. Immunity. Yoga practice has frequently been correlated with a stronger immune system.
  9. Pain. Pain tolerance is much higher among those who practice yoga regularly. In addition to pain tolerance, some instances of chronic pain, such as back pain, are lessened or eliminated through yoga (see below for more on back pain).
  10. Metabolism. Having a balanced metabolism results in maintaining a healthy weight. Consistent yoga practice helps find the balance and creates a more efficient metabolism.

Health Benefits Without

Just as many health benefits occur within the body, there are many benefits that can actually be experienced from without the body. From better sleep to more energy and strength, this list provides several benefits found on the outside of the body.

  1. Aging. Yoga stimulates the detoxification process within the body. Detoxification has been shown to delay aging, among many other health benefits.
  2. Posture. The very nature of yoga teaches the practitioner how to hold and control one’s body in a more healthful position. Through consistent practice, your posture will improve so that you look more confident and healthy.
  3. Strength. One of the premises of yoga is that you are using the weight of your own body for overall strength.
  4. Energy. Regular yoga practice provides consistent energy. In fact, most yogis state that when you perform your yoga correctly, you will feel energized after your yoga session rather than tired.
  5. Weight. The benefits of a better metabolism along with the exercise of yoga work to keep your weight in check. Additionally, the stretching of muscles longwise helps to reduce the amount of cellulite that can build around muscles.
  6. Sleep. Because of the many benefits to both body and mind that a yoga routine can provide, many find that their sleep is much better.
  7. Balance. An integral part of the yoga practice is balance and control over your body. With a consistent practice, you will find that your overall balance will improve outside the yoga class.
  8. Integrated function of the body. Yoga is derived from Sanskrit and means “to join together and direct one’s attention.” This is exactly what happens to your body after you start practicing yoga. Yogis find that their body works together much better, resulting in more graceful and efficient body movements.
  9. Body Awareness: Doing yoga will give you an increased awareness of your own body. You are often called upon to make small, subtle movements to improve your alignment. Over time, this will increase your level of comfort in your own body. This can lead to improved posture and greater self-confidence.
  10. Core strength. With a strong body core, you receive better posture and overall body strength. A strong core helps heal and reduce injuries. This is why a lot of athletes do yoga as cross training.

Emotional Health Benefits

Due to the strong mind-body connection of yoga, there are many emotional benefits to be gained from a consistent yoga practice. Find out how yoga can help improve emotional health with this list.

  1. Mood. Overall well-being improves with yoga practice. The combination of creating a strong mind-body connection, creating a healthy body, and focusing inward can all lead to improvement in your mood.
  2. Stress Reduction. The concentration required during yoga practice tends to focus your attention on the matter at hand, thereby reducing the emphasis you may have been putting on the stress in your life.
  3. Anxiety. One benefit to the controlled breathing used in yoga is a reduction in anxiety.
  4. Depression. the negative feelings that you may be repressing are brought to the surface during some types of yoga exercise. When this happens, the negative energy is no longer stuck within you, but released through exercise. Regularly releasing this negativity leads to a reduction of depression in many people.
  5. Self-acceptance. Focusing inward and realizing through your yoga practice that perfection is not the goal, self-acceptance begins to take over
  6. Self-control. The controlled movements of yoga teach you how to translate that self-control to all aspects of your life.
  7. Mind-body connection. Few other exercises offer the same mind-body connection that yoga does. As you match your controlled breathing with the movements of your body, you retrain your mind to find that place of calm and peace that long-time yogis know.
  8. Positive outlook on life. Continued practice of yoga results in a balance of many hormones and nervous system, which brings about a more stable, positive approach to life.
  9. Hostility. Most yogis report a huge reduction in the amount of hostility they feel as well as a sense of control when anger flares. This calm effect is likely from the relaxation and meditation that is incorporated in their yoga practice that leads to an overall calming of the nervous system. Less hostility means lower blood pressure and stress and a healthier approach to life.
  10. Concentration. Researchers have that as little as eight weeks of yoga practice can result in better concentration and more motivation.
  11. Memory. Improved blood circulation to the brain as well as the reduction in stress and improved focus results in a better memory.
  12. Attention. The attention required in yoga to maintain the structured breathing in conjunction with yoga poses sharpens the ability to keep a sharp focus on tasks.
  13. Social skills. In yoga, you learn the interconnectedness of all of life. Your yoga practice soon evolves from a personal journey to one connecting to to the community at large where your social skills improve along with your yoga practice.
  14. Calmness. Concentrating so intently on what your body is doing has the effect of bringing calmness. Yoga also introduces you to meditation techniques, such as watching how you breathe and disengagement from your thoughts, which help calm the mind.

Body Chemistry

Several aspects of body chemistry such as glucose levels and red blood cells are affected by yoga. Learn how you can improve your body chemistry through yoga.

  1. Cholesterol. Yoga practice lowers cholesterol through increased blood circulation and burning fat. Yoga practice is a great tool to fight against harmful cholesterol levels.
  2. Lymphatic system. Your lymphatic system boosts your immunity and reduces toxins in your body. The only way to get your lymphatic system flowing well is by movement. The specific movements involved in yoga are particularly well-suited for promoting a strong lymphatic system.
  3. Glucose. There is evidence to suggest that yoga may lower blood glucose levels.
  4. Sodium. As does any good exercise program, yoga reduces the sodium levels in your body. In today’s world of processed and fast foods that are full of sodium, lessening these levels is a great idea.
  5. Endocrine functions. Practicing yoga helps to regulate and control hormone secretion. An improved endocrine system keeps hormones in balance and promotes better overall physical and emotional health.
  6. Triglycerides. Triglycerides are the chemical form of fat in the blood, and elevated levels can indicate a risk for heart disease and high blood pressure. A recent study shows that yoga can lead to “significantly lower” levels of triglycerides.
  7. Red blood cells. Yoga has been shown to increase the level of red blood cells in the body. Red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen through the blood, and too few can result in anemia and low energy.
  8. Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps boost immunity, helps produce collagen, and is a powerful antioxidant; and a yoga regimen can increase the vitamin C in your body.

Exercise Health Benefits

  1. Low risk of injury. Due to the low impact of yoga and the controlled aspect of the motions, there is a very low risk of injury during yoga practice compared to other forms of exercise.
  2. Parasympathetic Nervous System. In many forms of exercise, the sympathetic nervous system kicks in, providing you with that fight-or-flight sensation. Yoga does the opposite and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic system lowers blood pressure and slows the pace of your breathing, which allows relaxation and healing.
  3. Muscle tone. Consistently practicing yoga leads to better muscle tone.
  4. Subcortex. Subcortical regions of brain are associated with well-being, and yoga is thought to dominate the subcortex rather than the cortex (where most exercise dominates).
  5. Reduced oxygen consumption. Yoga consumes less oxygen than traditional exercise routines, thereby allowing the body to work more efficiently.
  6. Breathing. With yoga, breathing is more natural and controlled during exercise. This type of breathing provides more oxygen-rich air for your body and also provides more energy with less fatigue.
  7. Balanced workout of opposing muscle groups. As with all of yoga, balance is key. If a muscle group is worked in one direction, it will also be worked in the opposite direction to maintain balance. This balance results in a better overall workout for the body.
  8. Non-competitive. The introspective and self-building nature of yoga removes any need of competition in the exercise regimen. With the lack of competition, the yogi is free to work slowly to avoid any undue injury as well as promote a more balanced and stress-free workout.
  9. Joint range of motion. A study at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine indicated that joint range of motion was improved by participants who practiced yoga.
  10. Eye-hand coordination. Without practice, eye-hand coordination diminishes. Yoga maintains and improves eye-hand coordination.
  11. Dexterity. The strong mind-body connection and flexibility gained from yoga leads to grace and skill.
  12. Reaction time.  The improvement was attributed to the faster rate of processing and improved concentration gained from yoga.
  13. Endurance. Working the entire body, yoga improves endurance and is frequently used by endurance athletes as a supplement to their sport-specific training.
  14. Depth perception. Becoming aware of your body and how it moves, as one does in yoga practice, leads to increased depth perception.

My Passion, Educating, Motivating You to LIVE in Health, Fitness, Strength, Peace, Love & Joy Inside Out!

To Motivate & Encourage you to Enjoy Health, Fitness & Yoga & Bring in Spring! Below are fun candid photos taken from my blackberry phone this Spring & May starting from the newest ones taken this week May 23, 2013!

<3 Shawn Rene 🙂

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