Time to kickstart an exercise program? But, what kind of exercise is beneficial for the health needs of the 50+ population? Is it weights and muscle strengthening? Is it stretching and toning? Or is it stimulating aerobics?
“While stretching and weight training are great for the body, the science that shows exercise is good for the brain has focused on aerobics. As little as 20 minutes/day turns out to be associated with an almost 50% reduction in Alzheimer’s risk,” David Perlmutter, MD, Neurologist and author of Grain Brain.
Aerobic exercise is defined as sustained exercise that stimulates and strengthens the heart and lungs which improves your metabolism, brain function and a whole lot more! So, is Yoga an aerobic exercise?
We did an experiment in our Chair Yoga class with a student who was wearing a Fitbit (a small device you wear to measure your physical activity, heart rate and such). She noted her heart rate before we did a Chair Yoga dance and after. And then before we did our Seated Sun Salutations and after, and so on throughout the class. And guess what?….. Yep, you guessed it! Her heart rate went up after these sequences because her heart was pumping more blood to move her large muscle groups. That’s a sign of cardiovascular health! The heart is a pump that needs to be worked to stay strong.
So, the answer is YES, Yoga can be an aerobic exercise if you MOVE! The added Yoga benefits for us 50+ folks are stretching, toning and strengthening too! Can’t go wrong with a little Yoga every day:)
Try it for Yourself!
Join in on these Chair Yoga short sequences while you are sitting here reading this Newsletter. Take your pulse before and after, and notice the difference. Make sure to rest in between each video to let your heart rate return to its normal pace. (Make sure you don’t over do it and follow your Doctor’s guidelines for exercise!)