Evidence on Yoga and Stretching for Older Adults

Dr. Kristina Fruechtl Blog

We all need to move to stay healthy, and intentional stretching and exercise is an important part of this.  It requires setting aside 10-30 minutes ideally daily, to tune into your body.  A good stretch should be held 30 seconds and repeated for each muscle group 3 times. It requires knowledge of which stretches are appropriate for you and which ones to avoid for certain health concerns.  Yoga is a type of exercise that involves stretching (along with strengthening, balance and coordination), and there are many different types of yoga.  A gentle yoga class can be a great start for older adults, and it is always wise to take a class versus trying a DVD on your own so you can get proper instruction on technique and learn to protect more vulnerable parts of your body including your back, neck, shoulders and knees.  Sometimes chairs are used as a prop for support.  Remember that doing yoga is not a competition, but rather about finding and knowing your own limits.

 

This particular journal article found that Hatha yoga is just as beneficial as a stretching- strengthening program for older adults.

Here is a link to the article abstract:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26297940

Or, for those of you who want to read the whole thing:

http://biomedgerontology.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/08/21/gerona.glv127.long