The benefits of mindful movement are multifaceted.
The latest: Growing research suggests yoga can help preserve mental and physical health.
- Analyzing 33 studies, Harvard-affiliated researchers confirmed yoga improves walking and leg strength in seniors — effectively protecting against age-related frailty.
- A study from Mass General revealed regular hot yoga cut depression in half.
- An Oregon-based study showed eight weeks of combined mindfulness meditation and yoga reduced chronic pain in 89% of participants.
Excited by positive outcomes, researchers plan to conduct more studies to grasp the mechanisms behind the mind-body connection.
The mindful way. Despite chronic pain affecting 100M people and costing the US $635B annually, effective treatments are elusive. Similarly, America’s mental health problem has proven difficult to unwind — fueling a concurrent opioid crisis.
A new tool to consider, mindful exercise could preserve brain health, stave off physical disability, and even help manage neurodegenerative disease.
Punchline: Far from a panacea, meditative movement holds promise as a risk-free approach to treating a myriad of health problems. And, while we may not know exactly how, there’s growing evidence that it’s potentially as effective as pharmaceutical interventions.