Yoga and Water Exercises Improve Seniors’ Balance

Most people who reach old age suffered a number of diseases and serious health problems. Older people have limitations including stability which can leads to falls. A new study compared the efficacy of yoga and exercises in the water on general health and fitness factors influencing balance in elderly.

Aging

Keeping older people fit can be a challenge. For example, those who suffer from heart disease and circulatory system are cautioned on what program to take. Thus appropriate training programs to increase the physical and mental well being of this group need to be devised.  Previous research using yoga exercises on fitness and emotional state in elderly Koreans came to the conclusion that yoga exercises can play an important role in the elderly’s physical and mental health.

Activities such as walking, yoga, aerobics and stretching have been found to reduce psychological disorders and problems like falling. However, implementation of physical fitness training does not seem to improving balance and walking ability in elderly people. In another study, exercise in the water reduced the incidence of  falling in the elderly. This suggests that exercise in water for seniors can be helpful because it compensates for muscle atrophy and skeletal degeneration. On the other hand, yoga for seniors is another gentle activity that can motivate them to promote physicality and prevent injury caused by falling.

In study, 120 healthy women aged over 60 years were randomly assigned to three groups; water exercise(40) Yoga (40) and control group (40). Their mental health, static balance, flexibility, dynamic balance (going up and down stairs) and lower body strength were measured after 4 months of 2 times per week 45 minute exercise periods.

The results showed that water exercise improved dynamic balance, muscle strength, static balance, and depression, but did not make any significant changes in the flexibility. Yoga was found to significantly improve muscle strength, dynamic balance, static balance, flexibilty and depression. These improvements in physical characteristics can help increase the fitness of seniors and decrease the incidence of falls.

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