Cushioning The Fall With Yoga
Article by Glen Wood – The Yoga Teacher
As a person hit 65 years old, the strength of muscles, balance and even flexibility gets affected a lot. Aging could definitely have significant effects on the body. Upon hitting this age, risk of falls increases. Upon reaching 75 years old, there are studies showing that elderly falls could actually be fatal after two years of the incident.
Yoga would be able to help reducing the risks of falling for elderly people. There are studies showing that a nine-week course could improve balance, strength, flexibility and walking speed. Participants would say that they feel more “centered”. It would mean that they are pretty much balanced on their feet.
Aside from improving their health, there was also a change on their outlook in life. This just means that yoga was not only there to improve physical health but also emotional and spiritual being.
According to the Fall Prevention for Seniors, injuries brought by falling accidents are higher in elderly population and as the older a person gets the higher the risks are. They say that prevention is better than cure. This is the concept of learning yoga exercises. To prevent fractured hips and slip discs, then prevent the fall that causes these injuries. Yoga does not only address the symptoms, it addresses the cause of the problem.
There are studies showing that exercise is capable of increasing bone mineral density especially with those who have postmenopausal osteoporosis. This is an aspect of osteoporosis preventive medication which is not really promoted. Regular and frequent activity is often not the preventive measure that elderly people think off.
Improving balance is one major thing that yoga could help with the elderly. There are some elderly practitioners who would say that they could stand on single foot and their legs and feet are more flexible.
This newfound strength could help them definitely with their confidence since they could walk longer and unaided. Aside form improving balance, performing yoga exercises and postures could also address other problems like chronic back pains.
A concrete sample of this would be 24 elderly females who participated in the Iyengar yoga program. Within nine weeks they were able to improve their physical condition. This is according to the research of Temple University’s Gait Study Center. These rewards could be increased as they practice more.
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