Benefits of Yoga

mind body connection

mind body connectionWho Can Benefit From Yoga?

Yoga is an excellent mind body exercise which has been practiced for thousands of years. There are over 100 different types of yoga. This practice provides physical and mental benefits for people of all ages.

Many of us spend most of our days running around with too much to do and too little time. In stolen moments, we yearn to slow things down, be more present and connect with others more fully. If you are looking for a way to calm your mind yoga might be just what you’re looking for. As little as 12 minutes a day of yoga can make a big difference in your physical and mental well being.

The practice of yoga combines stretching and strengthening poses with relaxation techniques. These can include meditation, breath work, guided imagery and chanting.

Focusing all your energy on each yoga pose allows you to feel the mind and body working together. It teaches you how to focus on the present. Being less distracted by your thoughts allows you to have greater peace of mind.

Ideal for Post-Pandemic Relief

After the life-altering effects of the past two years, most of us are looking for a little relief.

Yoga is a great mind and body exercise especially for anyone who hasn’t been active for a while. Each pose can be modified to suit your level of fitness and mobility. It may help you heal the aches and pains associated with too many Zoom meetings.

Yoga improves immunity so you will be less likely to get sick. It will also help you get in the right mindset. Yoga promotes feelings of gratitude, kindness, self-awareness and compassion. You will learn to stay calm regardless of the situation.

The Perfect Complement to Your Regular Workouts

Yoga stretches and strengthens your muscles. It can make you stronger and more flexible. Yoga also improves core and back strength and stability, and reduces muscle tension. It will help you recover better, lessen soreness and improve your athletic performance.

13 Amazing Benefits of Yoga

  1. Improves flexibility, spine mobility and body awareness. This is particularly important for adults over 65 because we lose flexibility as we age. Releasing muscles which are tight improves our alignment. This will help us move and feel better.
  2. Relieves stress, anxiety, depression and muscle fatigue. Yoga is often recommended as treatment by physicians. It helps us notice where we hold tension, and allows us to release it. Turning your senses inward provides down time for your nervous system.
  3. Boosts immunity and reduces inflammation. A regular yoga practice can keep sickness at bay, prevent disease or help you recover from it.
  4. Improves balance, coordination and posture. This helps to prevent falls and maintain independence in seniors.
  5. Improves strength, reaction time and athletic performance. You can use your body weight to strengthen all your major muscle groups in various yoga poses. Your inner strength will also increase.
  6. Improves cardiovascular function. It can lower your resting heart rate. Controlling the pace of your breath is beneficial for your heart and other body systems. Yoga increases blood flow and lowers blood sugar and cholesterol. It also helps your circulation especially in your hands and feet. A regular yoga practice can decrease your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
  7. Changes your brain. Yoga improves cognitive function. It activates the parts of your brain responsible for motivation, attention, executive functioning and neuroplasticity. Yoga increases oxygen to the brain so you can think more clearly and focus. It can keep your brain from shrinking as you age, and help you maintain your memory.
  8. Improves bone, cartilage and joint health. Many yoga poses take your joints through a full range of motion. This can prevent cartilage and joint breakdown, and protect your spine. A regular yoga practice increases your bone density. Yoga also lowers your levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This helps keep calcium in your bones. Yoga can help with dysfunctional movement patterns, and it may even reverse bone loss.
  9. Improves sleep. Yoga’s calming effect has been shown to help people fall asleep more quickly. It also helps you spend more time in the deep stage of your sleep cycle. This allows your brain to rest and replenish energy for the next day.
  10. Makes you happier!  A regular yoga practice often improves self-esteem and body image. It makes you feel more centered and in tune with your body. Yoga can be a great cure for loneliness. It teaches you to be more compassionate with yourself as well as with others. Yoga promotes gratitude and enhances your quality of life. It can connect you with your teacher, the yoga community and with a kinder side of yourself.
  11. Eases aches and pains. Yoga is often recommended by physicians to relieve lower back pain and arthritis.
  12. Helps you breathe better. Yoga increases the lung’s air flow, stamina, capacity and efficiency. It also opens up your sinuses.
  13. Gives you energy and elevates your mood. A regular yoga practice will increase your alertness, enthusiasm and positivity.

Where Can I Practice Yoga?

We are very pleased to announce that Rev. Nicholas Stanley has joined our team at Golden Home Fitness. Nicholas will be teaching yoga at the Golden Home Fitness studio located at 30 School Street in North Andover every Friday at 10:30am.  You can sign up for the class at

Nicholas will use a variety of techniques. These may include relaxation, meditation, yogic philosophy, chanting and breath work. He is an expert at teaching his students how to cope with stress. Nicholas’s therapeutic approach will leave you with a calmer mind. You will also have a greater awareness of the mind/body connection. Knowing how to tune in to your inner compass is instrumental in making all kinds of positive changes.

We are very fortunate to have Nicholas with us as he is multi-talented and has a very generous spirit. Nicholas specializes in yoga for PTSD and Trauma and Yin. He is also an ABA therapist, wellness coach, hypnotist, massage therapist, metaphysician and reverend.

The Takeaway

Yoga has countless benefits for your physical and mental wellbeing. It can prevent illness and help you manage stress. Yoga will also improve your flexibility, mobility and sleep. Practicing it regularly can positively affect all areas of your life. It can boost your self-esteem, immunity, productivity, spirituality and sense of connection. Yoga can give you a powerful sense of peace, as you learn to befriend your body and mind. If you can quiet your thoughts, your odds of living a long, healthy and happy life go up exponentially. We hope to see you in class at our Golden Home Fitness studio soon!  May yoga help you find your zen. Namaste.



Better Body Conditioning Class

better body conditioning class

Better Body Conditioning is a Small Group Personal Training Class available at Golden Home Fitness. The class is taught in our studio by me, Coach Laura. I am a Personal Trainer here at Golden Home Fitness. We are located at 30 School Street in North Andover. The class is offered on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:30am. We also stream the classes live on YouTube (search Golden Home Fitness).

Top Ten Reasons to Take Better Body Conditioning Class:

  1. Strengthen and tone your muscles. Each week we will work on every major muscle group with a variety of different exercises, using dumb bells.
  2. Boost your energy and focus.
  3. Improve your heart health and endurance with cardio.
  4. De-stress and sleep better.
  5. Improve your mental toughness which will help you in all aspects of your life.
  6. Lose or manage your weight. The combination of strength training and cardio is ideal for improving body composition. 
  7. Boost your self-esteem.  See what you are capable of. Most of us underestimate our abilities.
  8. Step out of your comfort zone and be proactive with your health and fitness.
  9. Boost your brain power by exercising and listening to upbeat music.
  10. Make friends and have fun!

Many of us have the best of intentions when it comes to our health and fitness. But if there is no one guiding us and no accountability, it’s often hard to get it done. The magnetic pull of that comfy sofa can be sooo hard to break!

While intentions are great, taking action is better. That’s the beauty of taking Better Body Conditioning Class. I will provide you with the program and show you how to do each exercise with proper form. I will also motivate and push you.  Wether you are just starting your fitness journey or you are a more experienced athlete, you can tailor the class to your needs.  Beginners can use light or no weights to start and keep the cardio moves low impact.

Each week’s program will provide you with a full body workout. The 35-45 minute class begins with a warmup. We then use dumb bells for upper and lower body exercises. Cardio moves are thrown in for fun and to elevate our heart rates, along with lots of core work. We finish the class with stretches and that blissful feeling that comes with knowing that we crushed our workout. 

The sense of accomplishment we earn shines a positive light on the rest of the day. Every single person in the class brings energy to the mix. If you can come into the studio, you owe it to yourself to feel the vibe and be part of the group. You will also receive personal instruction on your form.

If you are not local you will still get a lot out of Better Body Conditioning on YouTube, especially if you are consistent in taking it.

Working out greatly improves our health and fitness.  It gives us a sense of wellbeing which carries over into all facets of our lives.  Better Body Conditioning is a fun, quick and simple way to get your workouts in! I hope to see you soon!  Coach Laura

Laura McLaughlin

Benefits of Strength Training

Benefits of Strength Training

There are many benefits to strength training. If you are already strength training chances are you are aware of some of them. If you’re not, the sooner you start, the sooner you can reap the rewards.

What is Strength Training?

Strength training refers to any movement which uses body weight or resistance to build muscle mass, endurance and strength. These movements can include lifting, pulling and pushing. Strength training can help you build muscle and improve your coordination and stamina. Doing it will allow you to move more efficiently and safely in your everyday life.

Strength training is a critical component of health. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends strength training for all major muscle groups at least two times a week. It should be done with enough resistance to tire after 8-15 reps of each exercise.

Why Should I Strength Train?

Surveys suggest that, while 69% of American males think they are fit, only 13% actually are. Some men, and especially women, say they don’t strength train because they don’t want to look like a bodybuilder. Rest assured that you will not accidentally bulk up by adding strength training to your routine. A bodybuilder’s physique is the result of a lot of focus and hard work.

That being said, we are all bodybuilders in the sense that we are what we eat, do and think. So why not build the healthiest body possible?

10 Great Benefits of Strength Training:

  1. Better health and a longer lifespan. Strength training lowers your risk of chronic disease. It helps manage blood sugar levels. Strength training strengthens your strongest muscle, your heart.
  2. Improved level of fitness. Strength training will make you stronger. It can also improve your stamina, flexibility, range of motion and coordination. This will allow you to complete daily tasks more easily. It will also improve your athletic performance.
  3. Better physique. Strength training will make you look leaner and more toned. Muscle is denser than fat so it takes up less space. Who doesn’t want a little more muscle definition?
  4. Weight loss and management. Strength training helps with weight in a number of ways. Lean muscle mass drops with age. This can lead to weight and fat gain. Strength training can offset that. Strength training increases your metabolism. This allows you to burn more calories even while you sleep. A pound of muscle burns three times more calories than a pound of fat. By gaining a pound of muscle you can burn an extra 50 calories a day. Not only will you burn calories during your workout but, depending on its intensity, you will also burn them for hours afterwards. Strength training helps you to reduce fat, including visceral fat, which is associated with a higher risk of disease.
  5. Better mobility and lower risk of injury. Strength training strengthens your muscles, tendons and ligaments. This protects your joints including your knees, hips and ankles. Improved range of motion, flexibility and coordination also lead to better body mechanics. Your posture will also improve with this type of workout. Strength training improves your balance, so you are less likely to fall or fracture a bone. These benefits can allow you to remain independent as you age.
  6. Strong bones. Speaking of bones, strength training increases your bone density and reduces your risk of osteoporosis.
  7. Pain management and chronic condition control. Back pain, obesity, arthritis, heart disease, depression and diabetes can all be better managed with a strength training regimen.
  8. Improved mental health, self-esteem and mood. Strength training reduces anxiety, and is used to treat depression. It gives you a positive body image and shows you that you can reach your goals.
  9. Better thinking, learning and memory. Strength Training boosts brain activity and protects against age-related cognitive issues.
  10. Higher energy. Strength Training releases endorphins into your bloodstream. This energizes you and allows you to focus better.

The Take Away

As you can see, strength training is very beneficial for just about anyone. If done regularly, it can protect you from disease and injury. This is likely to lengthen your life. Your quality of life will also greatly improve with strength training. It will make you stronger so everyday activities will seem easier. Strength training can help you lose or manage your weight. It will give you a better sense of wellbeing and vitality. Do you want to feel energetic, confident and more in control of your life? Add strength training to your routine and reap all the benefits!

The Personal Trainers at Golden Home Fitness can design the perfect training program for you.  They will show you the best exercises, and how to do them with proper form.  This could be the path to a lifetime of health and fitness.

For your complimentary in-person or virtual Golden Home Fitness Personal Training session click here.



Coach JJ’s Clinic

Coach JJ Martin

Coach JJ’s Clinic

We are excited to offer a new Small Group Personal Training option at Golden Home Fitness: Coach JJ’s Clinic. One of our Personal Trainers, JJ Martin, is teaching every Thursday at 10:30am in our studio. We are located at 30 School Street in North Andover. We live-stream the class on YouTube, where you can find it by searching Golden Home Fitness.

This 45-minute class will explain the “why” and “how” of your fitness program. Having a full understanding of movement patterns is very helpful. Knowing which variation of an exercise works best for you could be a game changer. Coach JJ will help you understand your body better so you can exercise smarter.

Top Five Reasons to Take Coach JJ’s Clinic

  1. Learn the proper form for each exercise, as well as how to modify it for whatever level you are at right now.
  2. Address any limitations you may have, and learn how to take the right measures to improve them. If you want to increase the range of motion of your shoulders or hips, Coach JJ will supply helpful tips.
  3. Learn how to stretch and foam roll each muscle group to relieve tightness and soreness.
  4. Learn how to work out with limited space and equipment. For instance, using a loop, resistance band or bodyweight for a complete workout.
  5. Learn fitness cues. For example, “quadruped”, the beginning position for many exercises, is on all fours. Expanding your fitness vocabulary as well as your fitness regimen is always a good thing.

The bottom line is that you owe it to yourself to take Coach JJ’s Clinic. JJ is very knowledgeable and has a knack for predicting your questions before you even ask them. JJ is also a very personable, dedicated and enthusiastic coach.

He will guide you through an amazing A to Z workout in 45 minutes. Coach JJ’s Clinic will not only work your muscles but it will also expand your mind. I will be there every Thursday and I hope to see you there too!

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