Yoga As Part Of An Anti-Aging Plan

Feb 3 07:30 2007 Donovan Baldwin Print This Article

Can yoga be an effective part of an anti-aging plan?

While the topics under discussion are obviously yoga and having or making an anti-aging plan,Guest Posting it has become obvious over the last few years that anything done to improve personal health, increase flexibility, optimize the cardiovascular system, improve strength, increase the efficiency of organs and glands, and/or keep a person mentally alert and feeling glad to be alive has a place in any anti-aging plan.

Even though my contention is certainly going to be that yoga can produce all the effects mentioned, and maybe more, some people will simply not be attuned to donning a leotard, lighting candles, chanting to the tunes of other-worldly CD's, and attempting to bend their bodies into positions they know they cannot attain anyway!There will be people interested in the aging process who are genuinely willing to do a lot to create an effective anti-aging plan but who are just not interested in yoga. While I cannot address each possible consideration in such a short article which is dedicated to the specific topic of yoga, I can say that any exercise program or regular activity can produce many similar physical results. Regularly challenging the mind, by puzzles, by learning new skills, or by placing oneself in social situations rather than withdrawing from them can certainly help maintain not only intellectual vigor but encourage physical activity and help defend the body against the effects of an unrestrained aging process. Attention to proper nutrition is valuable in this process as well.

In fact, there is no reason why anyone should not, or would not, use all of the above suggestions as part of an anti-aging plan whether they practice yoga or not! Yoga, while effective in this plan is not the only thing that someone should be doing, nor should they wait until they are "old" to begin the process. In fact, the sooner the better. Starting a child on a path that includes health, fitness, intellectual stimulation and growth, and a love of life and the people around us is a means of insuring that the child will, as Mr. Spock says, "Live long and prosper."

To speak in generalities about yoga as part of an anti-aging plan is a simple task. It produces physical fitness, encourages overall health of mind and body, helps keep the intellect stimulated, helps with the removal of toxins from the body, increases flexibility, helps improve the effectiveness of the immune system...the list goes on.

However, what can be said specifically about yoga and aging? After all, those comments are just words that I have placed upon a page.

Well, others have placed such words as well, and have been applauded by the medical community as well as the general public. For example, in their acclaimed book "YOU: The Owner's Manual: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger", authors Michael F. Roizen, Mehmet Oz, who are concentrating on the physical side of life, applaud the daily practice of yoga as it relates both to life and to aging. The authors are both MD's. Dr. Roizen has provided health care to eight Nobel Peace Prize winners and more than 100 Fortune 500 CEOs and CFOs, and countless others. He has been in the Best Doctors in America since 1989. Dr. Oz is professor and vice-chairman of surgery at Columbia University. He is also medical director of the Integrated Medicine Center and director of the Heart Institute, New York Presbyterian/Columbia Medical Center.

Below is an excerpt from an interview conducted by WebMD.com. Dr. Roizen is speaking in response to a question about the daily practice of a short yoga program:

Physical activity has three major components:

  • Any activity -- such as walking.
  • Strength building activity -- such as lifting weights.
  • Stamina activity -- such as any activity that gets you to sweat in a cold room.

Yoga constitutes two of those, that is, any activity and resistance activity because you are holding a body part in a position that gains strength.

All of these activities decrease aging of your arteries, decrease aging of your immune system, make your hormone system youthful and increase muscular skeletal strength, keeping your bones and muscles stronger. By keeping your immune system younger, this little activity of five minutes a day helps prevent cancer and immune dysfunction, which prevents things like infections and many forms of arthritis.

"Additionally, the regular practice of yoga breathing throughout a full yoga workout can assist with improvement in cardiovascular health, while it is possibly a good idea to include some sort of cardio specific activity. Regular practice of yoga creates a state similar to meditation which has been shown to improve mental acuity and reduce stress, a major player in aging. It obviously increases flexibility and improves balance. Regular practice of yoga can improve the functioning of internal organs and glands, and aids in digestion.

Also, despite the arguments against yoga earlier in this article, No special clothing is required, nor does any specific type of atmosphere need to be created. I travel a lot, and have often done my yoga routine in my underwear on a small strip of floor beside the bed while my wife watched the news on TV. While setting the stage properly can assist with some of the concentration and attitude that makes for a more highly effective yoga session, it can be done anytime, anywhere, by anybody.

Nor is the ability to convert yourself into a pretzel required. The goal of any yoga practitioner is to do what he or she can to achieve the posture or movement. The people shown in pictures are the ones who have gotten to that point generally after years of practice, and, as in any activity, some are just going to be better at it than others. Regularly doing what you CAN do to the best of your ability will return positive results.

My recommendation? It's obvious. I believe that yoga can be an effective part of an anti-aging plan even if it is not the only part.

Source: Free Guest Posting Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

About Article Author

Donovan Baldwin
Donovan Baldwin

Donovan Baldwin is a Texas writer. He is a University of West Florida alumnus, a member of Mensa, and is retired from the U. S. Army. Learn more about yoga at http://yoga-4-the-health-of-it.com/ .

View More Articles