Yoga, and the Union Between 4 Forms of Exercise

What type of exercise is best for you?

The answer to that question is your ticket to adoring your exercise. But first - you've got to consider the many forms!

On any given day, we've got four varieties of physical activity from which to choose: endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility. As NIH suggests, we believe each variety deserves attention; it's easy to develop tunnel vision for either running or lifting weights or yoga, but in trying to reach our maximum fitness levels it's best to replace the or's with and's. Not only will incorporation of each form of exercise protect us against injury, variety will keep us interested and motivated! 

Endurance or aerobic 

to boost your total fitness, especially to benefit the circulatory system

Fresh Tip: Just Move, Move Naturally

"The world’s longest-lived people, residents of The Blue Zones, don’t pump iron, run marathons or join gyms. Instead, they live in environments that constantly nudge them into moving without thinking about it. They grow gardens and don’t have mechanical conveniences for house and yard work. Structure your life so you can move frequently and naturally!" - Dan Buettner


  • Speed walking, jogging
  • Yard work
  • Dancing


to (shockingly!) boost balance and, with aging, protect against falls.

  • Standing on one foot
  • Heel-to-toe walk
  • Tai Chi


to build muscle mass

  • Lifting weights or groceries
  • Climbing stairs
  • Using a resistance band
  • Using your own body weight


to lengthen and release tension in the muscles, protecting against injury in other forms of exercise and daily life

  • Shoulder and upper arm stretch
  • Calf stretch
  • Yoga

Thanks to NIH for these excellent examples, we can no longer excuse ourselves from exercise on account of boredom or repetition. What's more, the forms of exercise overlap; challenge yourself to find the union between all four with one movement! 

How Julie Finds Her Best Exercise: Yoga

Once considered an alternative “hippie thing,” yoga studios are sprouting up on every corner, and classes are being taught everywhere from the Rockaway boardwalk—to the Wall Street boardroom.

As yoga becomes an integral part of 21st-century life, the research, aligned with new methods of inquiry and technology, has begun to catch up with the 2,500 year old art/practice of yoga.

Yoga is my favorite way to exercise because it helps builds strength, balance, flexibility and is a moving meditation.
— Julie Graham
Julie teaching yogis in Bryant Park. 

Julie teaching yogis in Bryant Park. 

Dozens of studies have been published allowing us to have a deeper understanding of the anatomy and physiology of not just the asana (postures) but also the pranayama (breath) and meditation. Fascinating evidence has emerged on how yoga affects our body, mind and spirit. Although the prevalence of yoga is at an all-time high, 9.5% of U.S. adults (21 million used: National Health Interview Survey), much of the research is still in the early stages. Start with a hatha or gentle class with a certified teacher.

If yoga was a pill, it would be the most prescribed medicine.
— Dr. Robert Graham, MD, MPH, Co-Founder of FRESH Med

Can yoga help me to burn calories and make me stronger?

Most people underestimate the physical benefits of yoga. If you're interested in burning more calories, try more advanced yoga classes, like Vinyasa, which move at a faster pace. These classes can be challenging, even for the seasoned yogi, and require students to move more quickly—and hold more complex poses for longer periods. As much as yoga poses can strengthen your body and improve flexibility, yoga has also been called a “work-in,” as it also does wonders to your brain and helps bridge the gap of feeling both energized and relaxed.

Defined by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, Yoga in its full form combines physical postures, breathing exercises, meditation, and a distinct philosophy. There are numerous styles of yoga. Through the practice of yoga, we learn to breathe more fully and move more mindfully. Yoga helps us find better balance, strength and flexibility on the mat—and off. Yoga is defined as “to yolk,” or union, and the intention is to find that union, or yoga, between the opposing forces, like the mind and body, the body and breath. No matter your experience level, there’s a yoga class for you!

Yoga is open to you, regardless of your experience level.

Yoga is open to you, regardless of your experience level.

As a teacher of yoga for over 11 years and a dedicated student for over 17, I have witnessed the transformational power of yoga on my students—and myself. I was searching to find something I truly enjoyed doing, and once I stepped onto a yoga mat—well, I have been on my mat ever since.
— Julie Graham

Join Julie at Physio Logic for yoga/meditation classes, small group, duets and privates. You may even get a prescription for it from Dr. Rob!