Yoga Practice Improves Physical Fitness and Psychomotor Coordination in Older Adults

Agnė Čekanauskaitė, Albertas Skurvydas, Inga Urbonavičienė, Rasa Teišerskienė, Remigijus Apneris, Rima Solianik


Background. There is evidence that yoga practice can improve cardiovascular endurance, and that physically fit individuals have better psychomotor functioning, however, to the best of our knowledge, no information is available regarding yoga effects in population aged 60 years and older.

The aim of the study was to test the hypothesis that 10 weeks of yoga practice would improve

physical fitness and psychomotor coordination in older adults.

Methods. Thirty-three older adults aged 66.9 ± 6.0 years were randomly assigned to the control group and the experimental group, which had 90-min yoga practice twice a week, for 10 weeks. Attendance and adherence ratios, and changes in cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, grip strength, and psychomotor coordination were assessed. 

Results. Attendance of the experimental group subjects in yoga practice was 96.4 ± 4.1%. Yoga practice increased (p < 0.05) hand grip strength, flexibility in hips, thighs and spine, and decreased (p < 0.05) the distance from target in the psychomotor task, whereas no changes in peak oxygen consumption were observed.

Conclusion. Nevertheless, regular 10-week yoga practice had no effect on cardiovascular endurance, but it produced beneficial changes in muscular strength, flexibility and psychomotor coordination for older adults.

Keywords: aging, cardiovascular endurance, strength, flexibility, exercise.

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