Walking offers many good benefits, but some of us have more wear and tear on the knees, hips, and back, than we would like. We might have given up running years ago and walking is fine, but nowadays it has to be kept in moderation. We should still walk when possible, but you have to listen to your body and walk accordingly.
Chair yoga for seniors offers a safe, low-impact workout that, like a good cross training program, will change your life for the better. Flexibility, balance, bone density and strength can all be improved with chair yoga poses.
With flexibility comes increased mobility, and this contributes to more freedom and self-sufficiency. Many involved in chair yoga training start a walking program, or use an exercise bike, elliptical trainer or tread mill for enhanced cardiovascular work soon after seeing the results that chair yoga has on flexibility and mobility.
Fall prevention among the elderly is also covered in most chair yoga classes. Most of us realize the potential consequences of falling down, with bones that are not as pliable as in our youth. We all know how devastating a broken hip can be. Therefore, balancing exercises are covered, and students are encouraged to work on balancing at home.
At home, the walls, and your kitchen counter, can also be used for sturdy props when working on balancing exercises. You should also be aware that some prescriptions will affect your balance. This is one more good reason to talk to your doctor, or pharmacist, about the side effects of any prescription.
You can also research any prescription’s side effects on the Internet, by going to a search engine and entering the name of the product in your search. This will take you to the manufacturer’s site, and at the bottom, you will see the possible side effects of that particular prescription.
Getting back to senior mobility, flexibility and balance: you can improve your quality of life by visiting a local senior center or yoga studio to inquire about chair yoga classes. Some classes are also a mix of disciplines and may be labeled as stretch, wellness or stretch and tone classes.
Talk with a yoga instructor and, if possible, try a class to see if it fits your needs. Most start feeling improvement in a week or two and, with continued practice, your appreciation of life will be enhanced. No matter what our age, physical independence and a healthy outlook are blessings to be valued by all.
– P. Jerard
Dr. Jerard is the author of Is Running a Yoga Business Right for You?