As one reaches the twilight years, maintaining good health and fitness can be a challenge. With age the body loses its sense of balance and flexibility making it difficult for people to follow most fitness routines.
Silver yoga has been designed specifically to suit the needs of the older generations. It is aimed at the 70 plus age group.
Most people that age are afraid to try new things and even let go of older habits in fear of hurting themselves. Silver yoga has been designed specifically to make them feel more confident. It has been developed by Tseng, Chen and their colleagues in Taiwan to assist the elderly.
It is an hour long program starting with twenty minutes of warm up. The warm up is basically eight poses to help loosen the body. It is followed by 20 minutes of yoga (hatha style). This includes 7 stretching postures chosen specifically for the elderly.
It is then followed with three activities that help the body to relax. This takes about ten minutes. It is then followed by 15 minutes of guided imagery leading to complete relaxation.
This yoga program for the elderly has been scrutinized by experts from different fields including yoga, geriatric nursing, elderly exercise, geriatric physical therapy, sports physiology, osteopathy and many more.
Scientific studies have proved that Silver Yoga contributes significantly towards the general health of the Silver Yogis (practitioners of Silver Yoga).
It was observed that after twenty four weeks of practicing Silver Yoga for three times in a week, the Silver Yogis showed significant decrease in respiration rate, body fat, improved shoulder movements and general well being when compared to a control group not practicing the sport. All the participants were aged over 65.
Programs like Silver Yoga are a boon for the elderly. It helps them to improve on general health and well being. It also keeps them fit and agile. Fitness is an important aspect as one grows older and studies have now shown that the elderly can benefit with specially tailored fitness programs.