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Senior-friendly fitness

  • Published at 05:02 pm January 19th, 2019
at-Jan 16, 2019
Photos: Bigstock

The classical techniques of yoga date back more than five thousand years. In ancient times, the desire for greater personal freedom, health and long life, and heightened self-understanding gave birth to this system of physical and mental exercise, which has since spread throughout the world. The word yoga means 'to join or yoke together', and it unifies the body and mind together into one harmonious experience.

On average, life expectancy is on the rise around the world. Traditional fitness approaches have certain shortcomings in catering to the needs of ageing bodies. Rather than exercise to reach a goal weight or attain a particular aesthetic image, mature minds are more likely to appreciate physical fitness measures that are centered on quality of life and overall health. Yoga, in that regard, is a holistic approach towards fitness that can be implemented across all age groups. 

While it is common knowledge that yoga increases strength and improves overall flexibility and endurance, here are some more benefits of yoga. 

Heart health

Studies have shown that those who practice yoga regularly lower their risk of cardiovascular disease. Practicing yoga has also been associated with aiding recovery after strokes and surgery.

 Emotional well-being

One study found that those who practiced yoga on a regular basis showed significant improvements in regulating feelings of anger, anxiety and depression. This can be particularly helpful to those who have lost a loved one, and can facilitate the grieving process. 

Improved quality of sleep

Research has proven that when people suffering from insomnia perform yoga on a daily basis, they experience improved sleep quality. This includes sleeping for longer hours at a time, falling asleep faster, and returning to sleep more quickly if they wake up at any point during the night. 

Tackling health issues most relevant to the aging process

Regular yogis enjoy improved balance, which can help particularly in the case of seniors to prevent falls. Practicing yoga has also been linked to managing arthritis, pain and inflammation. Studies have also found that consistent practice may help manage diabetes and digestive issues such as IBS.