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What are the health benefits of yoga for seniors?

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Quick Answer

Health benefits of yoga for seniors include stronger bones, greater flexibility, stress relief and a more positive outlook, according to the Huffington Post. Seniors are advised to look for the class and instructor that best suit their needs; many studios offer beginner classes ideal for older, first-time attendees.

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What are the health benefits of yoga for seniors?
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Full Answer

Regular exercise lowers the mortality rate by one-third and the risk of chronic disease by up to 40 percent, says Huffington Post stress expert Dr. Kathleen Hall. Since cardio and strength training may strain the bodies of some older individuals, yoga is an excellent low-impact alternative. While aging decreases flexibility and often hampers the ability to perform everyday tasks, gentle yoga stretching reverses the process by increasing the flexibility of the spine - something many other exercises fail to do - while also having a positive impact on mood and energy level, says health writer and yoga therapist Eva Norlyk Smith.

Some yoga postures are believed to ease the anxiety, hot flashes and painful menstruation caused by the hormonal fluctuations of menopause, explains Huffington Post. Yoga done gently is not only safe for persons with osteoporosis, it also prevents and slows bone loss, explains Dr. Loren Fishman, medical director of Manhattan Physical Medicine. Dr. Fishman's extensive research includes a study that indicated persons practicing yoga in their late-60s increased bone density over a two-year period.

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