Silver Yoga classes can improve seniors’ physical fitness even if your body isn’t as flexible or strong as it used to be.
When young older adults eat right and exercise at the appropriate level regularly, they are less likely to develop chronic health problems such as diabetes and heart disease than their counterparts who don’t exercise. Thus, adding Silver Yoga to your weekly routine might be a good choice.
What is Silver Yoga?
Also called Silver Age Yoga, it is designed as a senior fitness class. It gently improves your strength, increases your flexibility and helps you feel more relaxed than if you did not participate. During each 1-hour class, a certified instructor leads you through the yoga poses, which are modified based on ability.
A typical class, contains the following:
- Warm-up exercises (8 poses)
- Seated and/or chair-assisted yoga poses
- Corpse pose, Shavasana, at least once but likely multiple times
- 10-15 minutes of guided imagery meditation
Is guided meditation necessary to improve seniors’ fitness?
Good news if you’re merely looking for physical benefits and have a busy schedule, you might be able to skip the meditation part. A study of 176 independently living seniors, conducted by the School of Nursing, Fooyin University, Taiwan, aimed to discover whether omitting the guided-imagery portion of a Silver Yoga class would affect their physical fitness outcomes. Thus, the researchers divided the participants into three groups:
- With guided-imagery meditation, 70-minute class
- Without guided-imagery meditation, 55-minute class
- A non-intervention control group
The seniors attending the two classes participated 3 times per week for 6 months.
Guided meditation did not improve senior fitness
It turns out, the seniors enjoyed the same significant physical fitness benefits whether they completed the mediation portion of the Silver Yoga class or not, according to the study’s results published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing. All the participants in both yoga groups had better physical fitness after 3 months than the non-intervention control group.
Keep in mind, this study did not examine the psychological or physiological effects of Silver Age yoga classes with and without guided meditation. Meditation has been shown to, for example, reduce perceived stress and reduce blood pressure. Thus, if the aforementioned benefits are important to you, I would suggest performing the guided meditation portion in your routine.
References for Silver Yoga Classes Significantly Improve Seniors Physical Fitness
2. Silver Age Yoga: website
Photo credit: Ian MacKenzie