There was a time when getting old meant you stopped your physical activity and invested in a rocking chair for the front porch. Nowadays, we know to take care of ourselves with proper nutrition and exercise and realize that we don’t have to stop moving just because we’ve celebrated a lot of birthdays.
The fitness craze is one trend that is patronized by both the young and the not-so-young. Just one look around a fitness gym shows that age is not a factor in keeping in shape; there are people of all ages taking fitness classes and working out.
Baby boomers were actually responsible for the start of the health and fitness clubs around the U.S. in the 1970s. They did all forms of physical activity back then, such as aerobic classes and gym workouts, and many still exercise today.
As we age, though, we sometimes turn out attention towards less strenuous exercises to stay healthy and fit. Yoga is a great way to exercise for baby boomers.
With yoga, the exercise focuses on stretching, breathing methods, and relaxation. It’s considered low impact exercise and doesn’t put as much stress on the bones and muscles. This is not to say that yoga is easy. Even though the stretching aspects of yoga are very beneficial, there is more to it than just stretching. Each pose learned has a specific physical benefit.
The relaxation and breathing techniques are a big part of yoga, and practicing these techniques can lower blood pressure and help relieve stress. Yoga exercise can be very effective in promoting better heart health because of the relaxation and stress relieving aspects.
Yoga works for everyone, but is a great way for baby boomers to get their exercise. It is an efficient way to build strength and gain flexibility. It is even more effective than an aerobics class for building stamina and controlled breathing.
Yoga is considered a union of mind, body, and spirit. It can lead to peace of mind and a positive spirit which can help ward off depression, an all too common occurrence in middle-aged people. In addition, yoga may stave off osteoporosis, and have a positive effect on the internal organs, digestive system, nervous system, menopausal symptoms, and headaches.
To get started with yoga, it is perhaps best to join a class. There are many different styles of yoga so you may need to try a couple of different yoga classes to find a teacher who resonates with you. There are also yoga videos you can play and follow along on your home system, much like following an aerobics tape. There are also online videos that can show you how to do each of the poses.
The jury verdict is in — yoga helps us get our exercise without heavy impact, which takes its toll on our aging bodies, and has many positive benefits like better heart health stress relief, and gives you greater flexibility. Go ahead and give it a try.