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Yoga Benefits for Men and Women Over 40 (And How to Get Started Now)

Yoga Benefits for Men and Women Over 40 (And How to Get Started Now)
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It’s never too late. Whether you’ve hit middle age or your golden years, the benefits of exercise are profound.

But as we age, not all exercises offer the same benefits. High impact training like weightlifting and running can hurt our joints. The challenge then becomes to find an activity that we enjoy and that can improve our overall health, with minimal risk.

Yoga offers just such an opportunity. More and more research has shown that yoga is an excellent total body exercise for your body and your mind.

In this article, I’m going to quickly show you the yoga benefits, whether you’re in your 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s or 80’s. Then we’re going to show you how you can get started quickly and easily.

Amazing yoga benefits for men and women over 40

Here I’ll cover 6 benefits of practicing yoga:

1. Yoga improves strength

You don’t often associate Yoga with strength training. But you don’t have to look like a Mr. Olympia, nor do you have to train like one, to get the benefits of strength training.

Yoga uses many weight bearing exercises[1] like the plank, eagle (single legged squat) and the warrior pose which can create a burn with the best of them and improve muscles in your legs, core and shoulders for a great, low impact, total body workout. In fact, two of the five best exercises recommended for strength and balance are yoga poses![2]

2. Yoga increases flexibility

As we age, our muscles and joints get tighter and less flexible. We don’t need a scientific study to prove it. Just trying to tie our show laces, scratch our back or put on our socks is research enough.

Yoga offers a series of stretches for our legs, hips, shoulders, hands and back that have proven to improve muscle flexibility and joint range of movement. In fact, yoga has even been shown to reduce the pain associated with osteoarthritis.[3]

3. Yoga benefits balance

Whether it’s biking, gardening or hiking, maintaining balance is critical to being able to continue doing the activities we loved to do safely well into our adult life. It also helps us avoid dangerous falls.

Try a one legged tree pose, or a headstand and you’ll get a sense for how good yoga is for your balance.

4. Yoga is good for your heart

Studies show that yoga can possibly lower your heart rate, eases palpitations, improves symptoms of heart failure, improves blood pressure and lowers hypertension when you combine postures, breathing and meditation in your yoga practice.[4]

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Yoga is shown to have similar benefits as brisk walking or other similar cardio exercises.

5. Yoga is good for your bones

People in their 50’s and beyond face the challenge of lower bone density, which could, if left unchallenged lead to osteoporosis. The weight bearing nature of yoga exercise has consistently proven to benefit bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis in those over 50 years old – especially women. In fact, one study showed that doing just 12 minutes of yoga a day can reverse osteoporotic bone loss.[5]

6. Yoga reduces anxiety and sharpens the mind

Yoga was traditionally done as a preparatory exercise for meditation. It’s emphasis on breathing and focus on the task at hand have been proven to have benefits for the mind.[6]

Yoga has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, depression, improve sleep, and enhance overall well-being. Give savasana a try and you’ll instantly see what I’m talking about:

How to get started

Starting yoga is easy! Nearly 10% of Americans, of all ages, currently do yoga, so you’re not alone.

I’d recommend you start out by taking a beginners yoga class with a qualified instructor. This will give you the opportunity to learn how to do each yoga pose with proper form, which is essential to get the maximum benefit from each pose and to avoid injury.

You should also take a yoga class that includes the full gamut of techniques like poses, breathing and meditation. Doing so will ensure that you maximize the physical, cardiovascular and mental benefits of yoga.

If you have any preexisting conditions like a sore back, arthritis, torn rotator cuff, ACL or MCL sprains etc, it’s important to tell your instructor in advance. A good instructor will be able to amend poses for you to avoid unnecessary or dangerous strain to affected areas that might aggravate your injury.

Where to do yoga

Yoga classes are available almost everywhere, from your local health clubs and gyms to YMCA’s, community and senior centers. You can also find stand alone yoga studio’s.

Sessions cost anywhere from $15-$20 at yoga studios. You might want to buy individual sessions at first to see if you like your instructor before committing to multiple sessions to get a volume discount.

If you’d prefer to be in a private setting, you can also get a private instructor to come to your house.

What type of yoga is best for you?

There are several types of yoga to choose from. We’d definitely recommend you do a yoga practice that includes poses, breathing and meditation, as opposed to a fitness session that includes some yoga poses.

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Hatha Yoga

    Best for beginners because of slow pace and introduction to basic techniques.

    Hatha yoga simply refers to all styles of yoga that are grounded in physical practice. A Hatha class generally teaches the basic physical poses. Hatha yoga classes are good if you’re starting out because they offer a classic approach to breathing and poses and typically go at a slower pace than some of the other styles. If a class calls itself hatha, it’s generally intended for beginners.[7]

    Bikram Yoga

      Best for beginners, people who want a sweat or those who like a set routine because of Bikram’s predictable routine.

      Bikram yoga is hot! The yoga studio is set to 105 degrees with 40 percent humidity.

      Invented by Bikram Choudhury about 30 years ago, Bikram yoga includes a series of 26 poses, with each one done twice per session. The heat is supposed to increase flexibility and suppleness.

      Bikram is one of the most popular types of yoga around, so its pretty easy to find. Just make sure you can stand the heat and stay hydrated!

      Ashtanga Yoga

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        Best for those looking for a more rigorous workout and a predictable routine and sequence of exercises.

        Ashtanga is rooted on ancient yoga. It’s a more defined and difficult style of yoga that has a set sequences of poses, where each movement is tied to a breath.[8]

        Ashtanga always performs the same poses, in the exact same sequence. It was popularized in the West by K. Pattabhi Jois in the 1970’s.

        Vinyasa Yoga

          Best for those looking for a high intensity workout because of its faster pace, of flowing from one movement into another.

          Vinyasa is a very fluid style of yoga, and probably the most athletic.[9]

          A variation of Ashtanga, Vinyasa coordinates movement with breath and you typically flow from one movement into the next, not staying n one pose for very long. It’s different from Ashtanga, in that there is no set sequence of movements.

          Iyengar Yoga

            Best for those with injuries and those obsessed with form and getting their poses right.

            Iyengar yoga is not afraid to use props, blocks, straps, walls and blankets to help you hit the perfect form with precision detail. The biggest difference between Iyengar and Vinyasa is that while there is no set sequence, each pose is held for a set period of time.[10]

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            Yoga equipment

            One of the great things about yoga is that you actually don’t need any equipment or special clothing.

            All you need are clothes that are either loose fitting or stretchy enough to allow you to do any of the poses without restriction.

            You may want a mat of your own eventually, but if you’re just getting started, often times studios provide one for you. Straps and pillows, if used, are also typically provided by studios.

            Yoga frequency

            If you’re just starting out, some yoga instructors suggest doing it everyday for 10-25 minutes, so that you can start to train your muscle memory for each yoga pose.

            That might mean you got to 1-2 classes per week, to make sure your getting good instruction on how to perform each pose properly, but then doing 10-25 minutes a day at home when you’re not going to the yoga class.

            As referenced earlier in this article, one study showed that doing just 12 minutes of yoga a day can reverse the effects of bone density loss.

            Then again, many instructors will tell you that doing just 1 class a week will have benefits to your health and state of mind.

            Summing it up

            Yoga is one of the fastest growing activities in the United States, with people of all ages enjoying its benefits to the health of your body and mind.

            A relatively low impact exercise, regularly practicing yoga, even for short periods of time, will improve your strength, balance, flexibility, cardiovascular health and your mind.

            With so much to gain and so little to lose, give it a try and see how it makes you feel!

            Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

            Reference

            More by this author

            Marc Felgar

            Marc Felgar is an aging, health & senior care expert focused on improving the lives of mature adults.

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            Last Updated on July 12, 2021

            100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier

            100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier
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            Want to learn some quick and easy life hacks that are easy to do, low cost and saves you time?

            By tweaking little things in your daily life, it can make your life much more convenient!

            Here’re 100 of the most practical life hacks so you can just pick up any of them right away!

            83 tie a small piece of bright colored fabric

              84 write random letter

                85 use a rubberband

                  86 dorm smell bad

                    87 lean your phone on your sunglassess

                      89 how to waterproof your shoes

                        90 take a picture of the name card

                          91 iron inside out

                            92 old newspaper

                              93 tumble try shoes

                                keep a card like this

                                  SONY DSC

                                    94 soap bar

                                      95 make a hole

                                        96 drop the battery

                                          97 use a coozie

                                            98 when taking a picture

                                              use a clean dust pan

                                                try a pants hanger

                                                  use your cellphone light

                                                    use a spring from an old pen

                                                      quick and easy iphone speaker

                                                        user binder clips

                                                          wrap a wet paper towel around your beverage

                                                            put pancake mix in a ketchup bottle

                                                              clean out an old lotion bottle for your beach

                                                                use a muffin tin to serve condiments at a bbq

                                                                  doritos are great for kindling

                                                                    use nail polish to identify different keys

                                                                      use a hanging shoe rack to store cleaning supplies

                                                                        freeze grapes to chill white wine without

                                                                          use paper clips to organize your cables

                                                                            almost finished your jar of nutella

                                                                              sick of having a box full of tangled

                                                                                unroll the rim to increase the capacity

                                                                                  cut open toilet paper rolls and use as a cuff

                                                                                    remove the stem from strawberries

                                                                                      turn an old bottle into a simple little cord holder

                                                                                        for iced coffee and iced cappuccino, use frozen coffee cubes

                                                                                          how to fold a fitted bed sheet

                                                                                            tired of snoozing past your alarm

                                                                                              place a rubber band around an open paint can to wipe your brush on

                                                                                                ut a wooden spoon across a boiling pot

                                                                                                  use bread clips to save flip-flops

                                                                                                    take pictures of friends holding items

                                                                                                      how i always know which headphone is the left one

                                                                                                        put a stocking over the end of a vacuum

                                                                                                          How to make sure you drink enough water

                                                                                                            user a can opener to open blister

                                                                                                              good sandwich guide

                                                                                                                turn your muffin pans upside down

                                                                                                                  50 pounds of groceries and living on the 5th floor

                                                                                                                    the right way to make a blt

                                                                                                                      add one teaspoon of baking soda

                                                                                                                        38

                                                                                                                          hair straighteners equals to collar irons

                                                                                                                            stack your clothes vertically to see them all

                                                                                                                              the right way to make cookies in the summer

                                                                                                                                how to clean a blender

                                                                                                                                  the right way to eat a popsicle

                                                                                                                                    use bread clips to label and organize power cords

                                                                                                                                      to get the built up residue off of your shower head

                                                                                                                                        user a hair clip to orgainize long wires

                                                                                                                                          a frozen saturated sponge in a bag

                                                                                                                                            rub stuck zipper teeth with a graphite pencil

                                                                                                                                              use a soda pop tab

                                                                                                                                                50

                                                                                                                                                  51 How to multiply large numbers in your head.

                                                                                                                                                    52 How to open a bottle if you dont have a corkscrew.

                                                                                                                                                      rub a walnut on damaged wooden furniture

                                                                                                                                                        kids fall out of bed

                                                                                                                                                          use toothpaste to clear up hazy car

                                                                                                                                                            58

                                                                                                                                                              59 keep pizza out while driving home

                                                                                                                                                                60 put your straw through the tab to keep it from rising

                                                                                                                                                                  hold oreos with a fork so your fingers

                                                                                                                                                                    Never lose your remotes again

                                                                                                                                                                      hiding your emergency money

                                                                                                                                                                        use a bread tab to hold your spot on a roll

                                                                                                                                                                          if you are at a hotel and run out of chargers

                                                                                                                                                                            keep a square of cardboard in a ziplock bag

                                                                                                                                                                              If you need to pee or smoke at a bar

                                                                                                                                                                                drill holes in the bottom of your garbage

                                                                                                                                                                                  use an accented letter as your passcode

                                                                                                                                                                                    use a squeeze ketchup bottle top with your shopvac

                                                                                                                                                                                      do something unusual when locking the door

                                                                                                                                                                                        when heating leftovers space out a circle in the middle

                                                                                                                                                                                          dont burn yourself in those hard to reach candles

                                                                                                                                                                                            put a small amount of water in a glass when you microwave your pizza

                                                                                                                                                                                              75 use a piece of paper to organize

                                                                                                                                                                                                use half a pool noodle

                                                                                                                                                                                                  pencil case to store cables

                                                                                                                                                                                                    78 clothespin to hold nail

                                                                                                                                                                                                      79 make blts

                                                                                                                                                                                                        80 take a picture of your fridge

                                                                                                                                                                                                          81 fill plastic water bottles

                                                                                                                                                                                                            82 right ways to eat chips

                                                                                                                                                                                                              99 if your plug keeps failing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                100 put the banana on the wire

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  88 before you throw away a post it

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Source: Reddit LifeProTips

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    There you go, 100 awesome life hacks that you can try right now to make your life a lot easier!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    30 Brilliant Camping Hacks I Wish I Knew Earlier

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    20 Popular Life Hacks From the Internet Debunked (or Verified)

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