Restorative Yoga – A Low Impact Solution For Middle-Aged Spread


Does Yoga have solutions for middle-aged spread? Are your knees, back, hips and shoulders begging for mercy? Restorative Yoga is a complete health maintenance system, and a low impact form of cross training, that will not cause premature wear in your joints.

Let’s be honest, have you noticed a spare tire around your mid-section? You could justify it by looking at teenagers. After all, it took you nearly 50 years to become overweight. Then, one day, you saw that spare tire in the mirror or a photograph.

Walking is a wonderful form of cross training, but if you carry a pedometer, you know that 10,000 steps per day is a “mission.” If your knees, ankles, plantar fascia, and Achilles tendons are fine, then an aggressive walking program will probably suit your body.

We have to do something, but this is not the time to abuse body parts. Walking is still a great form of exercise, but not to the point of pain. Luckily, Restorative Yoga is great for aches and pains. This is not a pass to abuse oneself with high impact exercise or over do it with excessive amounts of low impact exercise.

At middle age and beyond, everything is about moderation. In fact, moderation is a lifestyle for longevity. Restorative Yoga, walking, and a moderate diet are good additions for a complete health maintenance program.

“I don’t eat that much,” you say to yourself. The truth is – most people in middle age, often eat less than they ever did because we are much more aware of what we eat. An additional factor is that over eating is very uncomfortable.

Granted, there is always the exception to the rule. For instance: The “skinny guy,” who could always eat because of a quick burning metabolism, never seems to gain weight. The vast majority of us will notice our metabolism has slowed down.

According to Madelyn H. Fernstrom, Ph.D., the director of the Weight Management Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, “Your metabolism slows by 5 percent each decade. Compared to age 25, you’ll burn about 100 fewer calories a day at 35, and 200 fewer at 45. Do nothing and you could gain eight to 12 pounds a year.”

For most of us, this is a “warning bell.” We have to burn additional calories, but our joints must be treated like gold. Again, a gentle and restorative form of Yoga is a logical solution.

In general, everyone burns calories at a different rate from an identical activity. The most common reason cited for the difference in calories burned is body weight, but there are many factors to be considered, such as metabolism and body fat.

For the sake of comparison, let’s look at a gentle Restorative Yoga session and the calories burned over the course of one hour. You could do this, without breaking a sweat, on your living room floor – about an hour or two before bedtime. You could also walk to a local Yoga studio depending on its location.

A person who is 150 pounds would burn an average of 178 calories in one hour of Restorative Yoga practice. A larger person, who is 200 pounds, would burn an average of 238 calories in one hour. Generally speaking, the larger you are, the more calories burned. Lastly, keep in mind – this is a very gentle style of Yoga.

© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications