The Right Exercise for Any Body

Namaste.

More Strong is the New Skinny—thank you again for this opportunity, Becca DuVal!

I am no fitness expert, but for my money yoga might just be the best all-round exercise programs for people of any age. If not the best, it certainly ranks right up there.

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I was slow to embrace yoga. Remember, running was more my style when I was younger. Frankly, it was hard to me to be “still and quiet” during my practice. I like to make most group experiences social opportunities, so not talking for an over an hour in a room full of people was ummm, challenging?

I think if you are open to new information and experiences, you actually DO get wiser as you get older. Now, yoga is a core part of my workout routine, and if I miss a practice or two, my body starts talking back to me. Complaining, actually. The older you get, the more you need to work on flexibility, balance and strength—all core components of yoga. I never used to have any difficulty with balance, but I am just not as steady on my feet as I was when I was younger. Almost everyone needs to improve their flexibility, and the wonderful stretching and gentle encouragement from instructors to press/push/pull a little more promotes openness in your muscles and joints.

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Oh, geez. My right foot position is not right in this pose. Better work on that. I love that “workouts” are called “practices” in yoga. Definitely reduces the perfectionist pressure. 😉 One thing I would recommend is that you take yoga classes with a good instructor for a while instead of attempting it on your own with a DVD. It is really helpful to have a trained instructor check on your poses and offer advice to correct your alignment. I still do the vast, vast majority of my yoga practice in a class with an instructor. You can talk AFTER class, you know! 🙂

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If you read my strength-training post the other day, I mentioned I have osteoarthritis in my hands, so that means I have to be careful about too many weight-bearing poses on my hands. It definitely bums me out that down dog is mostly out for me, but I alternate with some down puppy and cat-cow poses, and occasionally sneak in a down dog just because it feels so good. I was trying out the same new workout top, Jalie 2444 and pants, and the top is as great for yoga as strength training. Yay for dual-purpose clothing!

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Similar to swimming, yoga is one of those regimes that works for people of most ages and abilities. There are even instructors who have developed postures that work for people with pretty severe medical issues, so even if you have some challenges, you might be able to figure out a way to make yoga work for you. And I just love how stretched and toned I feel after a good yoga practice.

Namaste!

Maris

8 Responses to The Right Exercise for Any Body

  1. Thanks for the exercise posts Maris. Now in my late 40s, and always having disliked exercise in pretty much any format, I can really tell how stiff and inflexible and weak I am becoming – let alone the impact on balance. It really is time for me to figure out how to incorporate exercise into my life, and the forms that you have mentioned – yoga, swimming, and strength/weight training – really are the logical things for me to consider. The reminder is appreciated!
    (Especially if I can wear/sew activewear as great as yours).

    • Thanks Lara! Check out some of the other posts in this series. My pants are a fail, but some of the tights others made are super cool. I will definitely be trying some of them when I get my new fabric order.

      If you love to swim – I think that is such a great exercise. Many people do not enjoy it – but I LOVE being in the water. Just swimming laps is a bit boring, but I find the Masters Swim program to be perfect for me. And of course there are a million yoga studios and weight/strength training classes that can get you going in those areas. You might grow to love exercise! It really does feel good to have a sense of strength – so just do it, lady!!! 😉

  2. Downdog does feel SO GOOD! I had a cyst on my wrist for a while that had me substituting dolphin. Totally not the same. And I’m a chatter box too – I show up early and leave late to bug the other adults for conversation 😉 (My 2 and 4 year olds just aren’t a proper substitute for adult interaction!)

  3. I have been practicing yoga for the past year and it has definitely changed me. I never really was a hyper person, but I am even more relaxed now. I took it up because even people in their 90’s do it, so I figured I should be able to do it. The biggest impact is that my balance is so, so much better and my posture has improved. I was practicing 4 days a week, but am down to two and do strength training 3 days a week and cool down with yoga simple stretches. Between the two, it is so much easier to just do everyday activities and what used to ache doesn’t anymore.

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