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Yoga and Aging

Yoga and Aging

Aging is defined as the process of growing old. In humans, ageing represents the accumulation of changes in a human being over time, like throughout our lives. So we see that aging is the development of us from ‘womb to tomb’.

Everybody ages all the time and there is no way out of it. Some people never take the time to look at it but everybody wonders:

What do we expect as we get older?

Most people know that aging will likely cause you to develop wrinkles and gray hair, but what else?

As you age, your heart rate becomes slightly slower, and your heart might become bigger. Your blood vessels and your arteries also become stiffer, causing your heart to work harder to pump blood through them. This can lead to high blood pressure (hypertension) and other cardiovascular problems.

As we said before also you get gray hair.

Bones Age Too

Besides the turning of gray hair and weakening heart rate bones tend to age too. With age, bones tend to shrink in size and density — which weakens them and makes them more susceptible to fracture. You might even become a bit shorter. Muscles generally lose strength and flexibility, and you might become less coordinated or have trouble balancing.

Let’s not forget the rest of the body. If we look at the digestive system, even the digestive system gets older and things like constipation can occur.

Tips for Aging:

  • Include physical activity in your daily routine
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Get adequate amounts of calcium
  • Get adequate amounts of vitamin D
  • Manage stress (do yoga)
  • Get enough sleep
  • Avoid substance abuse (like smoking and drinking)

The Aging Population

As we have said aging is everywhere. These days people are getting older and new youth aren’t as abundant as the aging seniors.

In the U.S. the population is growing older. It is also expected to continue to grow older over the next several decades.

Much of this aging is due to the baby boom generation moving into the ranks of the 65 and over population. Baby boomers are turning 65 or more and there are alot of them.

Baby Boomers

Baby boomers are the group of the population that were born in the years starting from the early to mid 1940s and ending anywhere from 1960 to 1964.

Baby boomers are widely associated with privilege, as many grew up in a time of widespread government subsidies in post-war housing and education, and increasing affluence. The U.S. did good in those years.

As a group, baby boomers were some of the wealthiest, most active, and most physically fit generation up to the era in which they arrived. Many had a good life and they were amongst the first to grow up genuinely expecting the world to improve with time.

They were also the generation that received peak levels of income; so they could reap the benefits of abundant levels of food, apparel, retirement programs, and sometimes even “midlife crisis” products.

In 1964, the last year of the baby boom, there were nearly 72.5 million baby boomers. The population peaked in 1999, with 78.8 million baby boomers, including people who immigrated to the United States and were born between 1946 and 1964.

Also we have said that there were many of these baby boomers and as they reach age 65 or older there becomes an increase in the aged population, especially as a percentage of the entire population.

Read more meditation & health at our website:

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Millennials

Millennials is a group of the population that came after the baby boomers. Generally they are defined as a person reaching young adulthood in the early 21st century.

Pretty much the early 1980s are the starting birth years and the mid-1990s to early 2000s are ending birth years.

Millennials are sometimes referred to as “echo boomers” due to a major surge in birth rates in the 1980s and 1990s, and also because millennials are often the children of the baby boomers.

The 20th-century trend toward smaller families in developed countries continued, however, so the relative impact of the “baby boom echo” was generally less pronounced than the post–World War II baby boomers.

People Are Getting Older

Even older than the baby boomers is the group of the population that is very old. The number of people in the oldest-old age group, which refers to those aged 85 and over, is projected to grow. From the year 2012, 5.9 million people are 85 and over and this should increase to 8.9 million in 2030.

In 2050, this group is projected to reach 18 million. In 2050, those aged 85 and over are projected to account for 4.5 percent of the U.S. population, up from 2.5 percent in 2030.

As we say the number of people 85 years and over has been projected to increase between 2012 and 2030 and yet it should increase much more after 2030.

From 2012 the population 85 years and over will double by 2036 and then triple by 2049. That’s a lot of older people!

And for the population aged 65 and over, it is projected to increase between  2012 and 2050, accounting for over 20 percent of the total population by 2050. Again alot of older people. This is what we mean by an aging population. There are not so many kids being born to balance this aging population.

The Entire U.S. Population Is Growing

According to the projections, between 2012 and 2050, the U.S. population is projected to grow from 314 million in 2012 to 400 million in 2050, an increase  of 27 percent.

The nation will also become more racially and ethnically diverse, with the aggregate minority population projected to become the majority in 2043.

The population is also expected to become much older. By 2030, more than 20 percent of U.S. residents are projected to be aged 65 and over, compared with 13 percent in 2010 and 9.8 percent in 1970.

The U.S. is considered a young country but not too many babies are being born and there is an increase in the number of seniors so the population is aging and the U.S. is not as young as before.

Life Expectancy Is Growing

Life expectancy is a statistical measure of the average time an organism is expected to live, based on the year of its birth, its current age and other demographic factors including gender.

Life expectancy is also defined statistically as the mean number of years remaining for an individual or a group of people at a given age.

People are living longer. In 1970 for men life expectancy was 68.7 years and for women it was 75 years. Now, more than 40 years on, these figures have shifted substantially. Male life expectancy is now 77.8 years, and for women it is 81.9 years

We must remember, however, that because life expectancy is an average, a particular person may die many years before or many years after the “expected” survival.

A Chart Showing Past Life Expectancy Rates:

Bronze Age and Iron                      age age 26
Late medieval English peerage    age 30
Early modern England                  age 33-40
18th-century Prussia                     age 24.7         For males
18th-century France                      age 27.5–30  For males
18th-century Qing China              age 39.6         For males
18th-century Edo Japan               age 41.1          For males
Early 19th-century England        age 40
1900 world average                       age 31
1950 world average                       age 48
2014 world average                       age 71.5

NOTE: Sometimes life expectancy was not high in years, largely because infant and child mortality remained high thus lowering the overall average.

Yoga and Young People

Today young people face numerous stressors, growing up in a globalized world, surrounded by electronic media and facing alot of pressures from school.

The practice of yoga can help youth cope with their stresses and contribute to a life balance, well-being and positive mental health.

Young people need yoga to listen to their bodies, feelings and ideas. Regular yoga practice can contribute to healthy development and good mental health, plus improve attention, self-esteem, empowerment and self-regulation.

The evidence of yoga’s benefits is growing. Yoga in schools has helped teens to improve resilience, mood, and self-regulation skills. It has also helped with emotions and stress.

It has been found that yoga helped develop attention in youths, plus it has helped executive function development and reduced anxiety.

It has been determined that a yoga practice for youths can contribute to more self-confidence as well as more feelings of well-being. It makes for better emotional balance, improved physical fitness and greater respect for peers and others.

Benefits of Yoga

Yoga can slow the aging process by stretching the body. With yoga muscles can be developed by making them more flexible and elastic.

And we see that it is good for developing both the physical health as well as mental health. Many people do yoga for building focus and increasing concentration. It really is mind over matter because in yoga the concentration is as important as the physical side.

Many people do yoga with a meditation practice also. The increased focus and concentration help with meditation and centering the mind. When a yogi is working out he can get into a meditative state and his mind can enter into spiritual consciousness.

Regular practitioners of yoga often report a spiritual high achieved during their daily routine. We remember that yoga was originally designed so long ago to prepare the yogi for extended periods in meditation.

Most yogis practice breathing techniques and We might say that this results in increased oxygenation of the blood, which can heighten ones perceptions. When managed correctly the yogi can channel the breath and get a ‘high’ from the workout.

The really beautiful thing about yoga is that it can help change one’s outlook on life and to alter it into peace and wellbeing besides the physical improvements. The younger you are when you begin a yoga practice, your chances increase for an extended life and better overall health.

Conclusion

We’ve seen here some good facts and information on the aging population in both the U.S. and the world. As the world ages, the people look always for ways to live longer.

Yoga is good against aging and can help people alot. It improves blood flow and oxygen levels in the body overall. It tones and firms the muscles and stretches so many places which helps the body and mind to stay fit.

It improves focus and concentration and many agree that regular yoga practice can lead to improved condition and a longer life.

Everybody is aging and most people want something to turn to for safety and even refuge. Yoga can comfort the practitioner and it helps to feel secure especially when practiced along with meditation.

One interesting fact is that, since the world population is aging and not so many children are born, the governments will spend more on senior health care rather than on education.

5 Ways to Stay Young

  • Get off the couch
  • Feel the love
  • Do yoga
  • Sip green tea
  • Give yourself a break. Recent studies show that stress causes physical changes in the body that can accelerate aging.

For more on Meditation >>>> CLICK HERE <<<<

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6 thoughts on “Yoga and Aging

    1. Author

      So nice that you like the post. Yoga is good for health and wellness and as you say there are many good reasons to start doing yoga. You can attend a class or do yoga at home but it’s good to get started right. You can get a mat and some classes will get you started and you probably have some friends already doing yoga too. Wishing you the best with your journey and yoga experience!

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    1. Author

      We all want the answer to aging and a good way to deal with it is through yoga. It offers toning of muscles and you can use breathing exercises for increased vitality. Many people and studies have shown the benefits of yoga when dealing with the concern of aging. Yoga is proven as a way to stay fit & younger!

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