Yoga is a good exercise for all genders and ages, however female participants still make up the bulk of practitioners in yoga classes. What’s even more apparent is the lack of middle-aged men stepping onto a yoga mat. Although, this is a demographic that can definitely benefit from yoga.
Many men in their 40s and 50s spend most of their hours in an office, and on top of the tips previously enumerated by The Prime Health for staying fit, yoga can be a perfect activity to help keep them healthy. That’s because this 5,000-year-old discipline is a good exercise that can help increase flexibility, stamina, and overall fitness, without taking up too much time.
Benefits of yoga
While yoga’s main focus is meditation, it is also a highly physical practice that can double as a cardiovascular workout. If you perform the more vigorous types of yoga, researcher and professor Joseph Signorile found that it is equivalent to intense interval training, like sprinting. That means you can burn fat and build muscle at the same time with the strength-focused poses in yoga, which can help add more vigour to your practice.
Lack of exercise can lead to numerous aches and pains in the body. Dr. William Kormos explains that morning stiffness can be triggered by joint problems like arthritis. As a result of ageing, older adults have more rigid joints because of less lubrication in between connecting bones. Although yoga has no known anti-inflammatory benefits, it can help lessen joint pain by improving range of motion and reducing stiffness. Range of motion should not be neglected, especially for middle-aged men. This is because less elastic ligaments and dry cartilage and tendon are some of the most common causes of orthopaedic injuries. Yoga can help improve elasticity as well as build muscle mass, which can then protect your bones.
What’s more, yoga can be also act as a complementary practice to other sports. This is why many athletes incorporate it into their training. A perfect example of this is ex-Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs, who was one of the oldest players to ever play in the Premiere League. Coral reports that Giggs credits yoga for his extraordinary 23-year career, which lasted until his 40s – well past a footballer’s prime. The former Wales international won over a dozen league titles and focused on longevity and maintenance unlike other footballers at that time. Yoga is definitely one of the reasons for his success as the practice can help build endurance, improve body awareness, and mobility, which are all needed for athletic performance. If you play golf, for instance, you can vastly enhance your swing if you have more flexible hips and more power in your muscles.
Lastly, yoga can help keep you stay young by reducing your stress levels. The element of controlled breathing specifically is highly meditative, and has been found to help introduce focus and grounding.
How to get started
The first question most first-timers ask is: “I’m not flexible, will I be able to do yoga?” Men are at a slight disadvantage, as Live Strong states that they tend to have less mobility especially in the hip and shoulder region. Hormones play a huge role in developing flexibility through the years, and women end up generally being more bendy. However, flexible or not, the short answer to that question is still yes. Yoga, as mentioned, is for everyone. It is a progressive practice and not everyone who steps onto a mat is able to do complicated poses off the bat. Some people may have already been strong or flexible to begin with, but many actually start with zero ability, and that is okay.
Try your hand at a few introductory yoga classes near you. Starting out slow will ease you into the practice. Many people give up after one trial because they’ve signed up for more advanced classes. You can also look for a private instructor who can assist you and personalize a program for your needs and goals. So, put on some breathable clothing and roll out your mat; the benefits of yoga in maintaining your youth is within arm’s reach.
Published on behalf of theprimehealth.net