Like so many of us, Matt spends most of his day sitting in front of a computer screen. While he knew that he needed more exercise and physical activity in his life, he struggled to find time with family commitments and the pressure of running his own company. Having not exercised in a while, Matt turned to walking. But after about a year, he started to experience pain in his right achilles heel.
The more Matt exercised, the more painful his achilles became and in the end his fitness suffered. That’s when he first started to consider yoga as an alternative way of getting him in shape.
He explains, “I had this clichéd idea of yoga: stretching, chanting and mysticism, not thinking of it as “proper” exercise. My wife had been going to yoga classes at Sweat Studios for a number of months and I’d really noticed how well she looked. I came round to the idea that yoga could be a great way for me to get fit, without risking my heel again.”
After Matt’s first class, he realised he had under-estimated what a workout yoga could be. “As a keen footballer in my youth, I used to do very rigorous circuit training: lots of high-intensity exercises that focused on different areas of the body. I have to say, that first yoga class felt as tough as the circuit training used to be. Yoga makes you work every muscle in your body. I was so tired afterwards, I’m sure I slept all weekend!”
After a few classes, Matt began to notice the difference it made to his health. “After about a month of doing yoga at Sweat, I felt more invigorated and it boosted my overall performance at work and life in general.” He also noticed a remarkable difference in his achilles heel, “My posture has greatly improved,” he claims, “the stretching and greater flexibility has alleviated strain on my tendons and ligaments, so the pain in my achilles heel has gone.”
And how would yoga rate as a way to get people fitter and stronger? “I’d rate it very highly!” he states, “So many people are in the same situation I was. Everyone’s working hard but living quite an inactive and sedentary lifestyle, with low levels of overall fitness. People often don’t realise how out of shape they are, I certainly didn’t. It can be tempting to suddenly take up running or join a gym. But going from a low level of fitness to a high-impact activity can really put strain on your body and put you at risk of injury. Yoga is a really level playing field. You can come to a yoga class regardless of how fit you are.”