All the evidence points to the fact that keeping physically active will ensure healthy aging. But what kind and frequency of activity do you need to reach the optimal range? Adding a beginner level yoga workout can bump up your health.
Statistics Canada‘s National Population Health Survey is a longitudinal study of key health trends in Canada. The latest results show interest trends for those 45 + in age. The table below summarizes the data for a 16 year period of the percentage of Canadians over 45 years participating in physical activity.
|Active||9.3||9.5||> 3 Calories/kg/day|
|Moderately Active||12.1||22.2||15.-2.9 Calories/kg/day|
The data reveals interest trends. The percent of active 45+ has remained level whereas there have been gains in the moderately active category. This shows that more people are embracing the active lifestyle message.
As aging individuals we need to be careful in what activity in which we engage. How often do we see someone injured because they approached an exercise they way they did in the 20’s . A step-wise moderate approach is needed that acknowledges our aging realities.
Hatha Yoga is practiced by an increasing number of people because of its benefits. Yoga has been shown to increase muscle strength, power and endurance. Holding the body in poses, yoga helps to improve balance, strength and stamina. In addition, yoga improves circulation, digestion, balance, flexibility and agility. The focus needed in moving through and holding each of the poses also builds endurance. Yoga is both strength and endurance activity that can be done at any age.
Adding 30 minutes of Hatha Yoga per day will expend about 85 Calories. That means for a 150 pound (68 kilogram) person, this additional amount of activity will move them from the inactive to moderately active, or the moderately active to active categories. Engaging in yoga can therefore have a significant effect on your health.
There is no need to perform ‘pretzel’ poses to achieve the desired health outcomes. What you are wanting is a beginner level Hatha Yoga workout. You are seeking a class that is slow so that you can learn the poses while increasing your strength and endurance.
If attending a class is too intimidating, you can find a private yoga instructor to help develop a routine specific for you. That way, individual issues like past injuries or current concerns can be addressed to help you progress. Once you’ve achieved a level of fitness and comfort in performing the poses, then you might consider joining a regular class.
With proper guidance, anyone can progress safely in yoga and increase their activity level to maintain and improve their health.