If you are looking for a low-impact exercise that provides all the advantages of yoga and none of the pain and strain of conventional poses—have a seat. Chair yoga is an exciting alternative for today’s seniors, people with limited mobility, and those recovering from an injury. Chair yoga is also great for people who spend a lot of time sitting at a desk or driving. If you need to adapt a new form of fitness in your life, here are four reasons why chair yoga may be a great fit for you.
1. It’s a stress buster
“It seems stress is a common culprit for a number of illnesses,” said Anabel Galeano, a social work at Draper Rehabilitation and Care Center. When the pressures of the day or recovery seem overwhelming, just breathe. Popular yoga poses show you how to really fill those lungs and get the blood pumping. “Being calmer and more relaxed inevitably leads to a greater feeling of happiness and well-being, which everyone can benefit from,” wrote yoga expert Richard Kravetz.
2. Increases circulation
Most people don’t give much thought to healthy circulation—until it’s no longer there. Feeling bloated, lethargic, and sporting sallow skin are signs that your circulatory system could use some motivation. Fitness experts tout yoga as one of the most effective ways to increase circulation. “When your blood is effortlessly flowing, it naturally gets your skin glowing,” said Yahoo! Beauty.
“Twisting poses help with lower back pain and aid digestion and circulation,” wrote contributor Gretchen Stelter. “They are often called ‘detox’ poses.” Parivrtta Sukhasana may sound like something that pairs well with curry, but it’s really an effective twisting pose for improving circulation.
3. Develops flexibility
Flexible limbs help prevent injury while relieving joint strain. The sudden stab of pain through your lower back or that funny tweak you feel in your knees after sitting too long can be reduced when you have a healthy range of flexibility.
“Practicing preventative measures for maintaining good health is a habit you never outgrow,” said Liz Jacobsen, team lead at Lake Ridge Senior Living. “Whether it is getting regular check-ups, adjusting diet, increasing exercise, or eliminating harmful habits, healthy living starts with adopting healthy habits.”
4. Burns fat
It’s hard to believe weight loss is possible when sitting at your desk. But with chair yoga, performing simple poses can burn unwanted fat without missing a single phone call. “These not only help in toning your body but also cure ailments when done regularly in addition to eating healthy,” said yoga expert Shameem Akthar.
It’s not a stretch to assume better exercise habits in your daily routine will improve your overall health. But if you feel intimidated by the gym culture, lack the mobility and flexibility required in traditional forms of exercise, or you are just being introduced to a new fitness program, chair yoga is a terrific way get healthy.
Amy Osmond Cook is the Executive Director of the Association of Skilled Nursing Providers, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about best practices in senior care. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was previously published by the OC Register. It has been republished here with permission.