Stretching for Health, Fun, and Fall Prevention
Balance and flexibility are key facets of physical fitness. Like endurance and strength, they diminish with age unless we work on them.
Working on balance and flexibility helps prevent falls, which can be disastrous. And just like it’s never too late to start working on them, it’s also never too soon. Anyone engaged in fitness should include stretching in his or her routine, whether beginning or experienced.
There’s a reason people have always talked about being “strong enough to bend,” you know.
Plus, stretching feels good. It lowers stress and improves posture and circulation. It helps us perform everyday activities, like bending over and turning our heads.
Almost 40 million Americans enjoy yoga, according to the 2016 Yoga in America Study. About one-fifth are in their 50s, and another one-fifth are over 60.
Yoga is great for balance, strength and bone density. It helps with back pain, blood pressure and anxiety. The focus on breathing benefits the mind, body and spirit. You don’t need any special equipment, and you can do it anywhere.
And a super-important fact: Yoga is highly adaptable to everyone’s physical needs and limitations.
The slow, gentle movements of tai chi have been practiced in China for thousands of years, and today by millions of people around the world.
The ancient martial art is sometimes called “meditation in motion.” And remembering the steps and their sequence is good for brain health and focus.
Studies show tai chi helps people with arthritis and Parkinson’s disease, as well as stress management, muscle tone, lower blood pressure and other aspects of good health. It’s also one of the best things we can do to improve our balance while standing still and also while moving. In other words, tai chi is great for preventing falls.
See you in class!