Our elders advise it for peace. I advise it for sanity. I know I'm not authority on meditation, I'm just eager to share a little of what I know and experienced of this one sure-shot way to recharging your mind.
We've all seen pictures of, and heard stories about Buddha. In all the pictures, he's perennially squatted, deep in meditation. I'm not sure how he was able to muster concentration enough to sit there like that, for hours and days on end. I once heard this fable about him. His disciples and he were sitting in this forest, meditating, when a snake came visiting. It slithered all around them, hissing to announce its arrival. Terrified by its hiss, the disciples peeked to see their worst fear in front of them, and scrambled away immediately. One of them even called out to the Teacher, but he did not seem to hear. The snake eventually found his way back into a hole in the ground, and slithered away. Upon Buddha's coming to, the disciples realised he never knew of the snake.
Now concentration to THAT level seems impossible by us at this stage. But we can start out with 3-5 minutes of squatting on the floor, with a mat below us. The extremely time-conscious ones can even set an alarm on their cellphones. I had done that my first time meditating. But that's the funny thing about meditation. After all the hustle-bustly running around of the day, I find it extremely difficult to calm my mind down, and evacuate it of the constant stream of thoughts, good and bad. I find it hard to close my eyes for 2 seconds! After the initial glitches I settle into a rhythm. Breathe in, breathe out. Slooowly. And then comes the hard part. You just don't want to get back to your routine. You don't ever want to get out of that trance-like peace that seems to descend on you. Trust me, the feeling is priceless, a calm like none other.