If you have cardiovascular issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease, history of stroke or heart attack, make sure to always follow the guidelines of your healthcare professional when starting any exercise program.

Guidelines for Strength 

Improving Strength

  • Weight bearing exercises: focus on creating “healthy” stress on your muscles with balancing and holding movements
  • Be watchful and mindful of your posture; Keep your bones in alignment!
  • Look for practices that focus on strengthening the muscles around your most troublesome areas: arms, legs, torso, etc.

Osteopenia 

  • No jumping, bouncing or sudden movements
  • Manage your stress levels; Cortisol, the stress hormone, can weaken your bones; Practice deep breathing and guided meditations to calm your nervous system
  • Weight bearing exercises: focus on creating “healthy” stress on your bones with balancing and strengthening movements
  • Non-weight bearing exercises: put strain on bones in a gentle way; Let the ligaments and tendons stress the bones through movement which cause osteoblasts to build more bone

Osteoporosis

  • No jumping, bouncing or sudden movements!
  • Be cautious with forward bends by keeping your spine long and not rounding forward
  • Use the breath to stretch the musculature of your spine from the inside out
  • Upper Body: focus on poses that open your chest to help balance and/or reverse kyphosis (rounded upper back)
  • Lower Body: focus on strengthening your legs and lengthening your spine
  • Build vitality with gentle cardio movements like seated Sun Salutations
  • “Be cautious with everything.” ~ Gary Kraftsow

Guidelines for Endurance

Cardiovascular Health

  • Pace yourself and don’t over-do it!
  • Work to the point of a very light sweat, then take a break, drink water and rest
  • Monitor your oxygen levels with an oximeter to keep it within a healthy range of 95+

Joint Injuries

  • Focus on stabilizing and strengthening your joints
  • Limit continual movement of your injured joint so as not to irritate it
  • Gently stretch the muscles around your injured joint

Joint Replacements 

  • Ensure you have a release from your healthcare practitioner to do exercises
  • Honor the ROM guidelines from your healthcare practitioner
  • Strengthen your replacement joint and muscles with poses that require holding (isometric)
  • Slowly increase your ROM and back out if there is any pain