Namaste! It’s hard to miss the yoga studios popping up on every corner. If you haven’t given it a try yourself, you may be wondering what the big deal is. Yoga, tai chi, Feldenkrais… what’s the difference?
Actually, yoga is a unique exercise with a long history. It was developed in India around the 6th century BC, but it didn’t gain traction in Europe and the United States until the late 1900s. Since then, it’s surged in popularity thanks to its holistic approach to physical and mental health. Almost 40 million Americans regularly practice yoga today.
Unlike other popular exercises, yoga is low-impact and avoids sudden movements. Yogis—as yoga practitioners are called—focus on staying mindful as they move from one posture to the next. It doesn’t require special shoes, weights, exercise balls or machines. All you need to get started is a mat.
But make no mistake: yoga can give you a real workout! Here are seven reasons yoga is the perfect exercise for seniors:
- Yoga can lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar, which improves your heart health and lowers your risk of stroke.
- It’s adaptable and safe. Studies have shown that yoga is effective for people of all ages, even those with chronic conditions like arthritis.
- Plus, it contributes to a healthy weight. People who practice yoga are more aware of their body’s needs. They’re less likely to overeat when stressed or distracted.
- Yoga is a reliable mood-booster. Studies have shown yoga may reduce stress, and can be used to treat symptoms of anxiety and depression. It can also help with chronic pain and make you more resilient in the long run.
- It reduces the risk of falls. Just 12 weeks of yoga improved balance and confidence in this study.
- Yoga improves physical capability. According to Harvard Health, yoga increases muscle strength, endurance, flexibility, and cardio-respiratory fitness.
- It’s fun and social. Taking a yoga class is a great way to make new friends and stay connected.
Yoga should be a healthy challenge, but never painful. Respect your limitations and keep your doctor informed about your exercise routines. The best way to learn how to practice yoga safely is by attending a class for beginners taught by a licensed instructor. Before class begins, take the time to let him or her know about any health concerns you have.
Yoga classes are offered to members of The Glenridge as part of our comprehensive exercise program. We have certified personal trainers who can help you personalize your fitness journey and achieve your goals. Schedule a tour of our Fitness Center and Spa or call (941) 552-5369 to learn more. We look forward to hearing from you!