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The benefits of chair yoga for older people

Chair yoga has benefits for older people and people with injuries, as a low-impact, low-cost, but high-reward exercise.

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The benefits of chair yoga for older people

What is chair yoga?

You may have heard that yoga is a wonderful way to maintain your physical health and calmness of mind. And it's true. Yoga can help improve strength, balance, flexibility, and meditation skills. But is it only for those who are young and flexible, and who can afford weekly $40 classes? Absolutely not!

There's a way to try out yoga that's low cost, low impact, but high reward. And it's suitable for older people and people recovering from injuries. All you need is a stable chair with no arms, and you can do some gentle yoga in your own home for free. 

Chair yoga reduces pain and stress and improves physical and mental health. This promotes your independence as you age well.

You may have heard that yoga is a wonderful way to maintain your physical health and calmness of mind. And it's true. Yoga can help improve strength, balance, flexibility, and meditation skills. But is it only for those who are young and flexible, and who can afford weekly $40 classes? Absolutely not!

There's a way to try out yoga that's low cost, low impact, but high reward. And it's suitable for older people and people recovering from injuries. All you need is a stable chair with no arms, and you can do some gentle yoga in your own home for free. 

Chair yoga reduces pain and stress and improves physical and mental health. This promotes your independence as you age well.

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Why try chair yoga?

Chair yoga helps you maintain an active lifestyle as you age. It's an exercise for falls prevention, and a measure of preventative health. It's shown to help with:

  • Handgrip strength
  • Upper and lower limb strength
  • Static balance
  • Agility
  • Dynamic balance

This small study suggests it also reduces fear of falling, while improving mobility.

Chair yoga helps you maintain an active lifestyle as you age. It's an exercise for falls prevention, and a measure of preventative health. It's shown to help with:

  • Handgrip strength
  • Upper and lower limb strength
  • Static balance
  • Agility
  • Dynamic balance

This small study suggests it also reduces fear of falling, while improving mobility.

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The benefits of gentle exercise

Regular light exercise like chair yoga helps manage conditions such as type 2 diabetes. It helps with how your body responds to insulin. It also aids in managing cholesterol and blood pressure

Chair yoga is useful in managing osteoporosis as well. Regular movement reduces risk of bone fractures by maintaining bone density. And it's a safe way to transition to weight-bearing exercises.

And of course, low-impact exercise is beneficial to sufferers of arthritis. In fact, chair yoga improves quality of life in older adults with osteoarthritis. It decreases joint pain and lessens the impact this condition has on your everyday living. 

Regular light exercise like chair yoga helps manage conditions such as type 2 diabetes. It helps with how your body responds to insulin. It also aids in managing cholesterol and blood pressure

Chair yoga is useful in managing osteoporosis as well. Regular movement reduces risk of bone fractures by maintaining bone density. And it's a safe way to transition to weight-bearing exercises.

And of course, low-impact exercise is beneficial to sufferers of arthritis. In fact, chair yoga improves quality of life in older adults with osteoarthritis. It decreases joint pain and lessens the impact this condition has on your everyday living. 

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Getting set up

Convinced that chair yoga is worth a shot, but still wondering how to get started? Here are some handy tips.

First, put on comfortable clothes.

Next, get your stable, armless chair. Be sure to place it on a flat surface. Choose somewhere you have room to extend your arms around you. It might also be nice to find a place with natural light and a pleasant view.

Convinced that chair yoga is worth a shot, but still wondering how to get started? Here are some handy tips.

First, put on comfortable clothes.

Next, get your stable, armless chair. Be sure to place it on a flat surface. Choose somewhere you have room to extend your arms around you. It might also be nice to find a place with natural light and a pleasant view.

Read less...

Important information

Before you begin, remember to listen to your body. Stop and seek advice from a medical professional if you feel new or increasing pain, or if you feel dizzy, clammy, or short of breath.

Some exercises may not be for you. Consult a medical professional if you are unsure.

Before you begin, remember to listen to your body. Stop and seek advice from a medical professional if you feel new or increasing pain, or if you feel dizzy, clammy, or short of breath.

Some exercises may not be for you. Consult a medical professional if you are unsure.

Read less...

Getting started

To get things going in a self-directed way, you can use an exercise sheet with a few different poses to try.

If you want a more guided session, you can find helpful videos online. Try the Daily Yoga mobile app for free. (This one of many mobile apps for healthy ageing.)

Or you can find a local group in your community to practice with. Chair yoga classes are often quite affordable.

To get things going in a self-directed way, you can use an exercise sheet with a few different poses to try.

If you want a more guided session, you can find helpful videos online. Try the Daily Yoga mobile app for free. (This one of many mobile apps for healthy ageing.)

Or you can find a local group in your community to practice with. Chair yoga classes are often quite affordable.

Read less...

Other benefits of chair yoga

Yoga is known for its health benefits, mindfulness, and community.

A chair yoga class may introduce you to new breathing and meditation practices. This can improve your mental health and calmness of mind.

And it’s an opportunity to connect with people in your area. Read more about the importance of staying connected.

Yoga is known for its health benefits, mindfulness, and community.

A chair yoga class may introduce you to new breathing and meditation practices. This can improve your mental health and calmness of mind.

And it’s an opportunity to connect with people in your area. Read more about the importance of staying connected.

Read less...

Develop skills at your own pace

Once you've mastered the seated poses, you might have the option to advance your difficulty level. You may even want to try standing poses that include the chair as support.

Chair yoga can allow for a self-determined progression. You can engage this practice whenever you like and step it up whenever you're ready. 

As for how often you should practice, even a little bit of yoga helps. But keeping up with a regular fitness routine could be most beneficial for you. Get advice from your healthcare professional when planning a new exercise regimen.

Once you've mastered the seated poses, you might have the option to advance your difficulty level. You may even want to try standing poses that include the chair as support.

Chair yoga can allow for a self-determined progression. You can engage this practice whenever you like and step it up whenever you're ready. 

As for how often you should practice, even a little bit of yoga helps. But keeping up with a regular fitness routine could be most beneficial for you. Get advice from your healthcare professional when planning a new exercise regimen.

Read less...

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More helpful information

If you would like to find local exercise classes, social activities, and helpful tips, try the quick quiz by clicking on the 'Let's Go' button below.

You might want to check out these other exercises that can also be done from the comfort of your own chair.

If you would like to find local exercise classes, social activities, and helpful tips, try the quick quiz by clicking on the 'Let's Go' button below.

You might want to check out these other exercises that can also be done from the comfort of your own chair.

Read less...

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The benefits of chair yoga for older people

References

Galantino, M. L., Green, L., Decesari, J. A., Mackain, N. A., Rinaldi, S. M., Stevens, M. E., Wurst, V. R., Marsico, R., Nell, M., & Mao, J. J. (2012). Safety and feasibility of modified chair-yoga on functional outcome among elderly at risk for falls. International Journal of Yoga, 5(2), 146-150. https://doi.org/10.4103/0973-6131.98242

Galoustian, G. (2017). Chair Yoga Effective Way to Treat Osteoarthritis. From News Desk, Florida Atlantic University.

Park, J., McCaffrey, R., Newman, D., Liehr, P., & Ouslander, J. G. (2016, December). A pilot randomized controlled trial of the effects of chair yoga on pain and physical function among community-dwelling older adults with lower extremity osteoarthritis. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. https://doi.org/10.1111/jgs.14717

Yao, C-T., & Tseng, C-H. (2019, October/December). Effectiveness of chair yoga for improving the functional fitness and well-being of female community-dwelling older adults with low physical activities. Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation, 35(4), 248-254. https://doi.org/10.1097/TGR.0000000000000242

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