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Monday, 02 October 2017 06:58

Benefits of activities such as yoga for youth is immense

Written by  Andrea Carol
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Yoga, like golf, is a great activity for any age, body type, sex, weight or stage of life.

 

The added benefit of improved flexibility, increased muscle strength, refined posture, increased blood flow, remedied anxiety, improved balance and deepened sleep is causing researchers and the health care sector to pay a little more attention to the art of yoga.
The effects of it on young people are immeasurably positive.
“Yoga is definitely beneficial for people, young and old. It promotes mobility, range of motion and helps to lubricate joints by spreading the synovial fluid through the joints. Circulation is also improved with yoga,” explained Kobus Pieters, Co-Owner of Central Avenue Physiotherapy. The 21-year veteran physiotherapist is adamant about the benefits of yoga for young people and warns of over-doing it.
“Young people are by nature more limber and flexible than the older generation but yoga is still helpful in maintaining the ROM and also beneficial in posture awareness which is a big concern in young people,” Pieters stated. “I’ve also seen a fair share of yoga induced injuries, more so in the older generation. Yoga sometimes creates a sense of competition within oneself, not so much with the other classmates but within oneself. Often, I see people get injured when they try to do poses that are beyond them and unfortunately, some poses they cannot get into well and they get hurt. We see this more in the older crowd and not in young supple bodies. It is definitely a good way to crosstrain.”
Yoga is another way for young people to stay active. Val Choo-Foo, In Motion Community Facilitator for the City of Swift Current is actively improving the fitness level of children in the community.
“Less than 15% of our children and youth in Saskatchewan get enough physical activity each day,” says Choo-Foo. “The in-motion goal for all children is to be physically active between 60-90 minutes a day; therefore, it is important that youth are active every day! They can join structured activities such as sports or incorporate physical activity into their daily lives such as walking the dog, biking, playing outside, building snow forts, etc.”
The relaxation techniques incorporated in yoga can lessen anxiety, a leading mental health concern among youth.
According to Harvard Health, “By reducing perceived stress and anxiety, yoga appears to modulate stress response systems. This, in turn, decreases physiological arousal — for example, reducing the heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and easing respiration. There is also evidence that yoga practices help increase heart rate variability, an indicator of the body's ability to respond to stress more flexibly.  The scientific study of yoga demonstrates that mental and physical health are not just closely allied, but are essentially equivalent. The evidence is growing that yoga practice is a relatively low-risk, high-yield approach to improving overall health.”
There are a variety of yoga classes offered throughout the southwest. Yoga is more than just a workout. It is a practice that makes us well.
For more info about reducing stress go to www.health.harvard.edu/stress

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