If you want to improve coordination and steadiness, yoga is for you. A new study shows that 8 weeks of regular yoga practice produces consistent improvement in balance, coordination and steadiness. These benefits stand to benefit all types of athletes as well as older people at risk for falling.
The study also showed a significant increase in leg strength. These combined findings make yoga ideally suited to older people. The single greatest risk factor for not being able to be independent as we get older is lack of leg strength. The greatest predictor of falling is poor balance. Said another way, if your legs are weak you are less likely to be able to live on your own when you are older and if your balance is not optimal you are more likely to fall and break a hip.
Here is a test you can do at home to determine whether your balance may be in need of a yoga-tune-up.
- Stand in front of your bathroom sink.
- Place your hands on the sink and lift one foot so that you are standing on one foot.
- Close your eyes and lift your hands off the sink keeping them close enough to the sink to catch yourself if you lose your balance.
Can you stand for 10 seconds? Try it on the other foot. If you can't last 10 seconds I suggest a trip to the chiropractor (another therapy proven to improve motor coordination) and a visit to your local yoga studio!
Read the study here.