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Yoga is the "ginger ale" of sports

Yoga has been steadily gaining popularity since the early 90s, and as baby boomers look for new and exciting ways to stay in shape during retirement, they're starting to approach the exercise with newfound enthusiasm. In fact, almost one-fifth of practitioners are age 55 and over, according to HealthNewsDigest.com. 

So what's the big deal? Why have so many retirees turned to yoga? Well, for one, it's one of the only exercises that adapts to your level of fitness, rather than the other way around.

"Yoga is like a classic drink mixer such as club soda or ginger ale – it can morph to suit the needs of just about anyone," certified personal trainer Johnny Gillespie told the website. "Forget what you may think about yoga being a religious experience. Yoga is about creating a connection between your mind and body that, with practice, can improve your strength and balance."

You don't need to be able to turn your arms and legs into spaghetti, either. Gillespie explains that people come to the classes because they're looking for ways to get more flexible. He added that practicing yoga regularly can help improve your energy levels and blood flow, in addition to making it easier to sleep at night.

"It's calming, better for your balance and good for your brain," Kathy Kinas told The Kalamazoo Gazette. She added that it helped her back pain fade away. Her husband, 59-year-old Rick, participates in yoga classes with her.

"It's helped my flexibility for golf," he explained. "It has helped me recognize the value of stretching and having more flexibility."

At Del Webb retirement communities such as Sun City Huntley in Huntley, Illinois, homeowners have access to a state-of-the-art Fitness and Wellness Center, where they can take group classes or work with a personal trainer on yoga programs at their own pace, all the while enjoying the dozens of other clubs and classes available to residents of the community.

If you're looking for the chance to do something a little more competitive, there's no end to the possibilities - join a softball team and start hitting homers on Eakin Field, join the Tall Oaks Tennis club, or just hit the links on the 18-hole golf course. Whatever the case, you'll have no problem having fun and staying in shape at the same time.  

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