According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a vital component of healthy aging is regular physical exercise. Participating in regular movement-based activity can help in preventing, delaying or managing many of the chronic diseases that plague adults ages 50 and older. These maladies take a financial toll along with the price we pay in illness, premature death and generally feeling, well, old.
The CDC tells us that we glean health benefits from physical activity. No amount is too small, and you’re never too old to start. No one expects you to get off the sofa where you’ve camped for 10 years to suddenly capture the title in the local marathon. The selection of your physical activity routine needs to be realistic.
The point is to get moving. One of the most popular ways to start is yoga. According to a National Health Interview Study done by the CDC in January 2017, yoga and mindfulness-based practices among employees improved workers’ health and reduced employers’ costs for stress-related health claims. The use of yoga practice among workers nearly doubled over a 10-year period from 2002 to 2012.
Age Is No Excuse
It doesn’t matter at what age you begin adding physical activity blocks into your day. Your body and brain will adapt. For example, your brain tend to get smaller and lighter as you age. But that doesn’t mean they have to function any less efficiently.
Moderate, low-impact exercising, such as yoga for 30 minutes each day, gives your brain a boost in oxygen levels. Even if you break your exercise sessions into three 10-minute blocks or two 15-minute sessions, the health benefits will be the same.
According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), physical activity can help the aging population live independently as long as possible. Even those who only began to exercise in their 80s and 90s showed “marked improvement in their strength and overall functional ability.”
The AAOS study found even a small degree of increased physical activity to be beneficial and safe in those with chronic medical conditions affecting joints, muscles or bones. (You’ll want to check with your own medical professional before beginning any physical activity program, of course.)
It’s Not Too Late
Age is a state of mind.
More people are discovering the benefits of yoga and mindfulness as a regular form of exercise, and a yoga lifestyle as a way of improving health and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you’re in the Denver area and seeking to begin or continue your yoga experience, give the Samadhi Center for Yoga a call. It’s not too late!