Practicing yoga would help fight against the frailty syndrome that can affect the elderly.
- Frailty impacts the autonomy and quality of life of the elderly.
- Yoga would help to fight against this syndrome which appears with aging.
- Practicing yoga mainly improves walking speed and leg strength in seniors, according to the study results.
It’s never too late to start exercising, especially when it comes to yoga. This activity helps seniors reduce their risk of suffering from frailty, according to a study by the American establishment Brigham and Women’s Hospital published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine on March 14, 2023.
Yoga improves walking speed and leg strength
The fragility that can appear with aging has an impact on autonomy and quality of life. It affects up to half of the over 80s. The study’s lead author, Dr Julia Loewenthal, wanted to see if yoga “integrative practice that has an impact on several areas of health” is likely to help prevent this syndrome.
With her team, she reviewed 33 research studies carried out on this sport. This represented a total of 2,384 participants over the age of 65. The average age of the volunteers was 72 years old. The researchers found that seniors who took yoga classes showed an improvement in their walking speed, one of the markers of frailty.
According to the results, the practice of the activity also strengthens the strength of the legs. However, “there was less evidence that yoga improved balance. However, the authors note that some of the yoga practices in the studies reviewed were programs with chairs and therefore may not have provided the same benefit for balance than standing poses”specifies the statement from the Boston facility.
Grip strength, another measure of frailty, did not improve with yoga practice.
Fragility: “it’s never too late to start yoga”
“There is potential for movement-based mind-body practices to be truly useful in promoting healthy aging across the lifespan because they provide a physical and cognitive health benefit, but also because they have a ripple effect that can lead to a healthier lifestyle overall”, explains Julia Loewenthal. She adds that seniors should not be held back by their age.
“It can be helpful to start a healthy practice like this at a younger age, but that said, we’ve still seen clinically meaningful results for an older population. It’s never too late to start yoga or other exercise programs to improve your overall health in your later years”she concludes.
However, scientists would like to conduct further trials to determine if yoga is a more effective frailty prevention tool if classes are taken earlier.