Grandma Can Benefit From Yoga, Too

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Is yoga a safe exercise for older adults?

Grandma Can Benefit From Yoga, Too

Yoga continues to gain popularity among men, women, and children of all ages, but it is a particularly good fitness choice for older adults because it doesn't put the type of stress on the joints that running, tennis, walking, or other activities do, and it promotes flexibility. Yoga also may provide some relief for arthritis sufferers. But older adults who are new to yoga should proceed slowly and check with their doctors before starting a yoga practice.

Poses that are especially beneficial for older senior yogis include Downward-facing Dog pose and triangle pose. Inversions (being upside-down) are good for people of all ages to promote circulation. Older beginning yogis, and anyone else who doesn't feel comfortable doing handstands or headstands, can try Legs Up the Wall (viparita kirani), in which you lie flat on your back with your tailbone close to a wall and extend your legs up the wall to form an L-shape with your body and stay in place for 10-15 minutes.

That said, the low-impact nature of yoga means that it is not an activity that promotes bone building. It's important to include some moderate activity such as walking that promotes bone building to prevent osteoporosis as part of a fitness plan to reduce the risk of osteoporosis later in life.



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