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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 38-47

Evidence-based yoga and ayurveda lifestyle practices for the geriatric population during Coronavirus Disease 2019 pandemic: A narrative

1 Department of General Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India
2 Department of Kayachikitsa, Sri Sri College of Ayurvedic Science and Research Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Pediatrics, Vir Chandra Singh Garhwali Government Institute of Medical Science and Research, Srinagar, Uttarakhand, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Monika Pathania
Department of General Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh - 249 203, Uttarakhand
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jopcs.jopcs_4_21

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Coronavirus disease 2019 has had a devastating impact on global health-care systems and the economy. Scientists and medical professionals worldwide are striving to provide for vaccine cures, while the deadly virus continuously mutates and thrives. Immunity being directly co-related to multiple factors such as diet, sleep, lifestyle, and stress; elderly people are at high risk due to factors such as immunosenescence, weakened metabolism, micro-nutrient deficiency, immobility, chronic stress, and comorbidities. The elderly has had the highest morbidity and mortality rates during the pandemic and is the most neglected in general. Holistic and integrative approaches need to be researched for finding safe and risk-free ways that may help counter immune suppression and prevent the vulnerable from getting infected. Yoga and Ayurveda have shown promising results in this regard, although among populations varying in age and health status. However, good-quality clinical trials are needed to strengthen the evidence of yoga for geriatric immunity as online databases of PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Embase showed a paucity of studies when searched for related keywords. Similarly, several aspects of Ayurveda, especially Ahara/food, have vast yet unexplored applications in immune strengthening and developing physical and mental resilience. Primary care physicians can utilize these time-tested techniques as lifestyle modifications along with the standard pharmacological treatment for fulfilling the health-care needs of their patients, especially for the vulnerable elderly, which is the pressing need during this pandemic.

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