Yoga reduces frailty, says researchers…
When we were kids, we used to dream what we would be when we grew up. I don’t know about you, but once I reached my 30s and 40s, I figured I had grown up. I look ahead a year or maybe 5 in advance, and that’s about it.
But what if we should be imagining what we want life to be like in our 70s, 80s, and 90s?
A recent study released in the Annals of Internal Medicine indicates a regular yoga practice can help you live longer by reducing frailty and increasing endurance.
Predictors of Longevity & Health
Dr. Peter Attia often mentions one of the biggest predictors of early death is lack of mobility as we age. He likes to remind us that our bodies reach their maximum physical potential in our 20s, and then we have to work to lose as little strength and mobility as possible as we continue to age.
The scientific fact is, we WILL lose strength and mobility. No one’s found a way around that yet. So, our work in the gym, on the track, or in the yoga studio is reducing the loss as much as possible, for as long as possible.
What’s Possible as we age?
Dr. Attia suggests we all start training for what he calls the Centenarian Decathlon. It’s a form of vision casting for our lives, but it starts with the end in mind. He calls it back-casting (instead of forecasting).
Dr. Attia has spent time asking himself what he wants to be able to do if and when he lives to be 100 yrs old. It includes activities like playing with and lifting his grandkids. Getting himself up off the floor if he sits or falls down. Opening a jar for himself. Putting his own 30 lb. suitcase into an overhead bin.
These are exactly the types of activities that lead to longer life. The science tells us that the longer we are able to remain mobile and care for ourselves, the longer we’ll live.
How Yoga can Reduce Frailty and Increase Mobility
Turns out, practicing yoga 2 – 3 times a week can help us achieve that goal. The study mentioned above looked at the correlation between yoga and mobility into our older years. And researchers are certain, with a moderate statistical significance (that’s GREAT!), that yoga reduces frailty and keeps us moving so we can care for ourselves as we age.
So, here’s the question…
What do you want to be or do when you grow up? Not just into your 40s and 50s but when you’re 80 or 90 or 100?
I did the backcasting exercise, and it felt really great to imagine how fun life could be as I age…if I take care of myself now. What do you envision for your centenarian lifestyle? We’d love to hear.