Proving what millions of Americans have long contended, the benefits of Yoga are showing up in scientific studies today and well beyond anecdotal stories. Furthermore,Yoga is becoming an ideal healthy prescription for so many of us.
According to studies, Yoga provides:
- Low impact cardio, resistance training, and stretching that is so important for those over the age of 50,
- Stress relief and improved sleep,
- Relief from some forms of depression,
- Improved balance to reduce falls and increased flexibility,
- Good bone health and more energy,
- A reduced threat of death or chronic illness, and
- An overall improved quality of life.
Yoga is non-competitive and because it uses your own body weight, you are less likely to get injured. However, it is important to know there are different levels and types of Yoga. Find one that fits where your body is now and allow Yoga to adjust to your body and abilities.
Perhaps the most important measure of the benefits of Yoga is also the most difficult to put into words or numbers in a scientific study. “I simply feel wonderful since doing Yoga, ” said one 60 year old YMCA member. “And I smile more often.”
Here are some videos to show you more. Look for Yoga instructors in your local area or at the YMCA.
Dr. Marie Bernard, Deputy Director of the National Institute on Aging, explains the health benefits of and her passion for practicing yoga regularly. (2 min 44 sec)
“The Practice of Yoga; What you should know” This video from the National Institutes of Health provides five tips for those thinking of starting a yoga exercise program. (3 min 57 sec)
Chen KM, e. (2016). Sleep quality, depression state, and health status of older adults after silver yoga exercises: cluster randomized trial. – PubMed – NCBI. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved 7 February 2016, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18947826
National Institutes of Health (NIH),. (2015). NIH video reveals the science behind yoga. Retrieved 7 February 2016, from http://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-video-reveals-science-behind-yoga
Sivakumar, P., Koparde, V., Varambally, S., Thirthalli, J., Varghese, M., & Hariprasad, V. et al. (2013). Effects of yoga intervention on sleep and quality-of-life in elderly: A randomized controlled trial. Indian Journal Of Psychiatry, 55(7), 364. http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/0019-5545.116310
The Huffington Post,. (2016). 5 Health Benefits Of A Yoga Practice For Older Adults. Retrieved 7 February 2016, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/20/yoga-older-adults_n_3268482.html
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