The new fitness craze taking over-60s by storm

There's a new type of exercise targeted specifically at over 60s.
It's the exercise designed just for baby boomers.

For many over 60s exercise can become a tricky manoeuvre; the body isn’t as limbre as it used to be and sore joints, stiffness and pain can all get in the way of staying fit.

The problem is though, as we age we need to keep the body mobile and moving not just for our physical health, but for our mental health, too. Enter Chair Yoga.

Developed especially for over 60s suffering from joint pain, it uses movements designed to ease pain and avoid aggravating existing issues, all the while using a chair to help you stay balanced.

Yoga has long been regarded as a great way to keep the body supple and strong, but declining muscle strength and balance can make it difficult for some to get through a class without wobbling all over the place.

Chair yoga was developed by a team of researchers from the Florida Atlantic University who wanted to give those suffering from osteoarthritis a way of exercising that would help their bodies, rather than hinder.

They conducted a study with 131 over 60s who suffered from the condition and monitored their fitness and mobility over three months.

Using exercises to increase flexibility, strengthen muscles, and ease pain, participants held onto or sat on a chair for support throughout the class.

At the end of the three month period, they found the patients had a reduction in pain, pain interference, and fatigue, as well as an improvement in gait speed.

“The effect of pain on everyday living is most directly captured by pain interference, and our findings demonstrate that chair yoga reduced pain interference in everyday activities,” said team research leader Dr Juyoung Park.

Dr Ruth McCaffrey, who also worked on the study, said chair yoga can be used as an alternative therapy as well as a fitness option for those suffering from osteoarthritis or other physical issues.

“Currently, the only treatment for osteoarthritis, which has no cure, includes lifestyle changes and pharmacologic treatments that are not without adverse events. The long-term goal of this research is to address the non-pharmacologic management of lower extremity osteoarthritis pain and physical function in older adults, and our study provides evidence that chair yoga may be an effective approach for achieving this goal.”

Do you find it difficult to do some forms of exercise these days? Have you tried yoga before?

  1. Lyn  

    I am a baby boomer with restricted movement and would dearly love to try chair yoga. Where can I get a DVD please. Thank you. ….Namaste

    • Judith Marie O'Connor  

      Can I have access to a cd too please

  2. I am having great trouble with my right knee ,which has prevented me from walking regularly and would love to try Chair Yoga

  3. Avril Samuels  

    Where can I get this chair Yoga excercise routine from? Thanks in anticipation.

  4. Elaine curran  

    Would like to to this. I have arthritis. Sounds ideal. Note info please.

  5. Anne  

    Search google or You Tube, there are videos there

  6. Ellen  

    I live in the south Eastern suburbs in melb. Would love to give thisa go.Are there any classes here…Would love to have a go

  7. sandra pope  

    Are there any classe sin the Logan or Scenic Rim area Qld Australia? Would like to give this a go!

    Sandie

  8. Gayle  

    I have just been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and very interested in this I live on the Sth Coast of NSW
    Are you able to advise on how I can get more info on this ?

  9. Bev  

    Hi I live in Sydney Eastern suburbs any chair yoga in the area, bad back and hips
    Thanks

  10. Pat Ward  

    Are there any classes for this in Adelaide?

  11. Mary  

    Thats why we have search engines – google, Bing, etc. If you just put in your query, maybe chair yoga,(inlaced your nearest large suburb), how to do little things around the house or even get a handyman in your area – its best to just search – I have found so many videos on how to fix things around the house – saves lots of money

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