How yoga reduces ageing and extends your lifespan

Yoga is an ideal low intensity form of exercise and it has been proven to slow down the process of ageing

Person rolls up a yoga mat on the floor
(Image credit: Getty)

Our bodies are designed to naturally age and decline. While we can’t stop this from happening, we can work to slow the process down. And it turns out targeting the rate at which our cells age at could be really beneficial.

You might already take supplements such as the best vitamins for women over 50, to help boost your Vitamin C levels, which can help to reduce signs of aging. But how can we curb the acceleration of cellular aging?

Cellular aging is the progressive decline of cell growth causing the loss of cellular functions. This limits the body’s ability to regenerate or respond to injury and stress. When this happens, older adults can find themselves at a greater risk of developing serious implications to their health such as developing diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers.

The good news is that science has found yoga to be an effective preventative activity in reducing cellular ageing. And the bonus is that the activity is simple and free to take up - you just need to find yourself one of our best yoga mats to get started.

Man practices yoga outside on a mat

(Image credit: Getty)

The scientists conducted a 12 week study, applying tests to 96 healthy individuals to find out if yoga-and meditation-based lifestyle intervention (YMLI) could thwart or slow down cellular aging.

The integrative health strategy used on the participants required the patients to take part in yoga sessions five days a week. The sessions included a mix of popular yoga techniques such as asanas (physical postures), pranayama (breathing exercises), and dhayna (meditation).

When the 12 weeks ended they discovered that “significant improvements” appeared in the biomarkers of cellular ageing, which can promote longevity.

The researchers concluded: “Making yoga and meditation an integral part of our lifestyle may hold the key to delay aging or aging gracefully, prevent the onset of multifactorial complex lifestyle diseases, promote mental, physical, and reproductive health, and prolong youthful healthy life.”

An added bonus from the investigation is that the majority of the study was conducted at home, meaning you don’t have to leave the house to practice yoga. 

Most of the yoga sessions in this study lasted around 90 minutes. This sounds like a lot of time but you can get a full body stretch in as little as ten minutes. Small efforts like this could contribute to slowing down the rate at which your body ages.

Watch and follow this ten minute yoga for beginners video: 

Jessica Downey

Jessica is an experienced fitness writer with a passion for running. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition. 

When she isn't writing up news and features for Fit&Well covering topics ranging from muscle building, to yoga, to female health and so on, she will be outdoors somewhere, testing out the latest fitness equipment and accessories to help others find top products for their own fitness journeys. Her testing pairs up nicely with her love for running. She recently branched out to running 10Ks and is trying to improve her time before moving on to larger races. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen. She shares all of this on her running Instagram account @jessrunshere which she uses for accountability and for connecting with like-minded fitness lovers.