Interest in yoga is growing, especially among older adults. This review critically summarizes the current literature to investigate whether physical fitness and function benefits are engendered through the practice of yoga in older adults. A comprehensive search yielded 507 studies; 10 studies with 544 participants (69.6 ± 6.3 yr, 71% female) were included. Large variability in yoga styles and measurement outcomes make it challenging to interpret results across studies. Studies reported moderate improvements for gait (ES = 0.54, 0.80), balance (ES = 0.25–1.61), upper/lower body flexibility (ES = 0.25, 0.70), lower body strength (ES = 0.51), and weight loss (ES = 0.73, 0.99). Yoga may engender improvements in some components of fitness in older adults. However, more evidence is needed to determine its effectiveness as an alternative exercise to promote fitness in older adults. Further investigation into yoga as an exercise activity for older adults is warranted.
Kaitlyn P. Roland, Jennifer M. Jakobi, and Gareth R. Jones
Gareth R. Jones, Jennifer M. Jakobi, Albert W. Taylor, Rob J. Petrella, and Anthony A. Vandervoort
Community-based rehabilitative exercise programs might be an effective means to improve functional outcomes for hip-fracture patients. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a community exercise program (CEP) for older adults recovering from hip fracture. Twenty-five older adults (mean age 80.0 ± 6.0 years; 24 women; 71 ± 23 days post–hip fracture) participated in this pilot study (17 exercise, 8 control). The CEP involved functional stepping and lower extremity–strengthening exercises. Control participants received only standard outpatient therapy. Measures of functional mobility, balance confidence, falls efficacy, lower extremity strength, and daily physical activity were evaluated at baseline and at 16 weeks. Improvements for self-reported physical activity, mobility, balance, and knee-extensor strength were observed for the CEP group. This study demonstrated that a CEP is beneficial for community-dwelling older adults post–hip fracture.