One of the most dangerous injuries for people, after they reach 65, is a fall injuring. Injuries from a fall account for the largest percentage of hospitalizations and deaths for senior citizens. For that reason alone, balance activities like yoga and Tai Chi are vital to keeping our aging populations healthy and free from fall risk.
Finding A Class That Meets Your Needs
One of the most important things to consider when choosing yoga or other balance activities to help prevent fall of injuries is whether the class will meet your needs. Many yoga and Tai Chi instructors are talented in modifying their classes to meet the needs of aging populations. However, some yoga classes are designed for more intense activities. For example, a 90-minute hot yoga class is not going to be appropriate for a beginning exerciser in their sixties.
The Huffington Post notes that finding a class suitable for your activity level is going to lead to the highest amount of satisfaction from your exercise. If you already have mobility issues a class like chair yoga is going to be more beneficial than in a class that focuses on a lot of standing and balance poses. Remember to be honest with yourself about your current activity level and abilities before selecting a yoga or balance related class.
Strengthen Your Bones
One of the reasons that falls are so dangerous is because of the bone loss experienced in older populations. Diseases like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis make falls much more injury-inducing for a 60-year-old than for 20 years old.
The American Association for Retired Persons or AARP notes that yoga has the benefit of increasing bone density for those who participate after age 50. Stopping bone loss after age 50 is going to be one of the key preventative factors in decreasing the injury associated with falls.
Balance Poses Increase Balance and Mobility
Two factors come into play will you considering your risk for a fall. The first one is your balance and the second is your Mobility. Balance and mobility affect things like your success at getting in and out of a chair, your skill at traversing stairs, or the result of you stumbling over a small variation in the floor.
Routers report that yoga has been shown to increase both balance and mobility and people over age 60. It takes as little as 20 hours of yoga training to increase both balance and mobility.
This means that people who regularly practice yoga showed an increase in their ability to do common daily activities like getting in and out of chairs or going up and down stairs. Many times the falls that result in injuries occur after simple activities like trying to get out of bed or going up and down a flight of stairs in your house.
It is hard to imagine a life where simple things like getting up and down from a chair become dangerous activities. This is one of the primary reasons that having an active fitness regimen is important.
Knowing that you have the musculature, balance, and mobility to do these things successfully will ultimately give you the confidence to move about your daily life without the fear of falling.
Being able to complete your daily activities is one of the best gifts that you can give yourself. If you begin before entering your senior years with a balanced diet and exercise program that includes activities like yoga or Tai Chi you will be able to traverse your golden years in with confidence.
No one wants to spend his or her last remaining years bedridden or stuck in a wheelchair. The building of your strength, bone density, and ability with the help of yoga and Tai Chi can keep you active and vibrant throughout your days.