201 comments / Posted on by Jennifer Harris

Yoga Can Help Prevent Stroke in Seniors

Every four seconds, one person in the United States has a stroke - according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly three quarters of people who have a stroke are aged over 65, making this health condition a senior-centric one. If you already love yoga or you are thinking of taking it up, grab an affirmat in your favorite color, head to the great outdoors or to a yoga studio, and strike a pose (or in this case a posture). Your physical and mental health will thank you for it and you can stop a stroke from hampering your quality of life.

Yoga and Strokes: Key Findings for Seniors

A 2018 study undertaken at the University of South Australia found that yoga and Tai Chi can help reduce hypertension, fatty acids, and blood sugar levels - thus lowering the risk of stroke. The researchers noted that physical activity is very important for seniors wishing to prevent stroke from recurring, but because they can have limited mobility, traditional exercise forms can be difficult to carry out. Therefore, mindfulness-based activities like yoga and Tai Chi, which are gentle on the body - can help stroke survivors which key areas like focus. It can also ensure they gradually build up areas like strength, coordination, and flexibility, without over-stressing the system. Yoga and Tai Chi are also attractive for budget-conscious seniors from a cost perspective. There are many free or low-cost yoga and outdoor Tai Chi classes across the U.S., so seniors wishing to save during retirement can stay healthy while saving for retirement.

Yoga can Aid Stroke Survivors Improve Balance

Additional research carried out by the American Heart Association has found that group yoga can help stroke survivors regain their balance. The study focused on a group of people who had had their stroke over six months before beginning yoga practice. The yoga class comprised modified yoga postures, relaxation, and meditation. Researchers found that those who had taken part in this class regained significantly more equilibrium than those in a control group. The yoga group also had better scores for independence and quality of life. Finally, they had less fear of falling.

If seniors can stop a stroke from happening altogether, all the better. This is because people who have had a stroke have a 43% chance of having another one within the following decade (or a 16% chance of having a stroke within a year). It is therefore vital to embrace mindful activities like yoga, which can reduce the likelihood of a first and subsequent events.


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