Time and again, research has shown that men and women who regularly maintain a moderate exercise program, savor a long list of health benefits. Having said that, even starting or regularly maintaining an exercise routine can be challenging at any age. The reason is that one might get discouraged by working hours, family responsibilities, injuries, illness and social commitments. Or for a person who has never exercised in the past, he/she might not know where to begin. However remember, your age or your current physical condition is far outweighed by the several rewards you can reap from regular exercises, such as
- Reduce risk of diabetes
- Increase bone density
- Fight back pain and arthritis
- Build strong muscles
- Improve mental health
- Fight obesity
- Build a better heart
- Reduce stress
- Enhance mobility, flexibility, and balance
- Have fun when working in groups
Yoga and Total Health are interrelated to each other. One cannot achieve better physical health, without performing yoga consistently. No matter how old you are, studies show, that strength and overall improvements in health are possible at any age, even in the 70s and 80s.
In our 20s – We feel so strong, that we think we can get away with abusing our bodies in many ways like, late nights, junk food, unhealthy eating & drinking habits, trying to attain a zero size figure etc. and consequently forget to appreciate our “Health”.
But to prevent heart diseases and osteoporosis in the future, on needs to work on, weight training which helps in building muscle and improve bone density, and some cardio exercises, providing a wholesome menu for the body. Postural Yoga is a complete system where you get the three fold benefits of cardio-strength-flexibility inbuilt in your routine. All other physical systems tend to provide one-dimensional benefit, while yoga bestows lateral and multi dimensional benefits and is full and complete in every manner. Further, you learn to look at yourselves from ‘inside out’ rather than ‘outside in’. Postural Yoga gives three – fold benefits: cardio-strength-flexibility inbuilt in one.
In our 30s – we start noticing that weight doesn’t come off quite as easily as it used to. This is because, after the age of 20, our Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) starts to drop and lean muscle mass decreases while body fat increases. In this decade, experts advise, “Keeping fit means working harder”.
Strength training and exercises that involve the anti-gravity muscles (because they prevent you from ‘slumping’ that comes naturally at this age) are the best options. If you haven’t tried yet, experiment with the balance postures and inversions that form the core of Hatha Yoga for this particular age group.
Now is the time to make good fitness habits a part of everyday life. Practice standing and walking with abdominal muscles pulled in and up. For stretching and good posture, yoga exercises are a must. This is the decade to prepare our bodies for the coming onslaught.
Exercising is different at this age because everyone has some aches or pains.
Cardio exercises help to keep the weight under control, but resistance training is crucial now. In this decade you must start exercising your facial muscles to hold off the ‘jaw-dropping’ appearance.
Daily doses of exercise have been proven to thwart a number of aging factors-stress, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Yoga and meditation help significantly in combating most of these problems and the longer you remain physically active, the slower age will take to catch up with you. Reversing the aging process with Yoga, the elixir/fount of youth!
Yoga, strength training, weight training, walking, swimming or any form of physical exercise becomes as critical to our health as mammograms, pap smears, and annual doctor visits.
Intense stretches after exercise should not be missed. Yoga is the best form of stretching exercises just perfect for the body that needs to maintain its flexibility. It is also great for balance, which becomes an increasingly important issue in these decades. Aches and pains, which are common complaints at this age, should not be an excuse for giving up on exercise. For older adults exercise will become a pleasure and recreation if done as a group activity. Exercising in a group is recreational.
A decline in strength and fitness isn’t entirely a natural consequence of the aging process but is also due to lack of use. We need to push ourselves physically no matter how old we are but just have to take care that we don’t overdo any of it, which might aggravate joint and other pains.
Physical activity plays an essential role in combating physiological decline associated with aging. It is important for increasing longevity and reducing the risk for all age-related and other chronic diseases. Exercise can even reverse some of the symptoms of aging. For those who experience the ‘brain fog’ that comes with age: exercise changes the brain in ways that protect memory and thinking skills. Physical activity prevents or counter-attacks ‘brain fog’
Yoga a practice for all ages
Yoga can be a part of anyone’s life, during any time and at any age. In a yoga class you can just be yourself, listen to your breath and appreciate what your body is capable of. From the 20s as one moves into their 50s, the practice can move with them. From the rigorous hard-core stretches and backbends one can smoothly flow into restorative and balancing poses. Breathing exercises and mindful meditation increases energy and vitality, brings on spirituality and improves mood and sleep. In this way, yoga can help women at any age find physical and emotional balance, as well as self-acceptance.
Fit exercise in daily routine
- You don’t have to exercise at set times. Fit it into your routine throughout the day.
- Get involved in house cleaning, gardening, shopping and running errands.
- Carry groceries, young children or grandchildren, especially up the stairs.
- Try to cross the street before the signal changes.
- Tie your own shoelaces, hang clothes, reach for the books or spices on the higher shelves. These activities will help you to stretch.
- Get active with your community for outdoor games.
- Try to eat fresh every day instead of storing in the fridge.
- But most importantly “think-young” at any age.
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