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Monday, January 25, 2016

Bone-boosting Benefits of Yoga

Strike a pose. A yoga pose that is! Yoga has long been credited as a stress reliever for mind, body and soul. Now research suggests that this ancient practice of holding and releasing the carefully choreographed positions has bone-boosting benefits as well.

A recent study published in the journal, Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation, questioned if yoga could be an effective treatment for osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a bone-weakening condition that affects both men and women and often leads to debilitating breaks and fractures.

This particular study tracked more than 200 women who performed a sequence of yoga poses at least every other day from 2005 to 2015.

Results revealed that yoga improved the women's balance, strengthened their gait, and ultimately increased bone density - specifically in the spine and femur.

Like weight-bearing activities, the controlled resistance used in yoga poses puts pressure on bones and strengthens them. The push and pull between muscles and bones causes the body to produce more osteocytes, or bone-making cells, improving bone density as you age.

In addition to increased bone density, other benefits of yoga include: 
  • greater flexibility/range of motion
  • better posture and balance
  • enhanced coordination
  • reduced emotional and physical stress
Check with your doctor first if you are being treated for osteoporosis or any serious medical condition before starting yoga or any new exercise regimen.

(Adapted from Shape magazine)

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