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Over Age 65, Yoga Can Keep You Balanced


October 1, 2014

New data suggests that women over the age of 65 who practice yoga fall less. Of course older people benefit greatly from almost any kind of light exercise both physically and mentally, however, under professional supervision, the peculiar impact of the ancient practice of meditative yoga may yet prove to be the best at preventing falls. From Temple University:

"Dr. Jinsup Song and researchers at the School of Podiatric Medicine and the College of Health Professions examined the gait and postural stability of 24 elderly females who were enrolled in an Iyengar yoga program specifically designed for those over 65. They found that at the end of the nine-week program, participants had a faster stride, an increased flexibility in the lower extremities, an improved single-leg stance and increased confidence in walking and balance…

Song and his researchers suggest that improving balance and stability through yoga could help reduce the risk of falling, as these are two areas that are often deficient when a fall occurs.

"We were very impressed at the progress our participants made by the end of the program," said Song. "Subjects demonstrated improved muscle strength in lower extremities, which helps with stability. There was also a pronounced difference in how pressure was distributed on the bottom of the foot, which helps to maintain balance."– Temple University (2008, April 8). Yoga Poses Can Prevent Falls In Women Over 65, Study.

A simple resource to get those interested in researching yoga programs for the elderly can be found here http://www.seniorfitness.net/YOGA.htm

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