4 Health Benefits of Yoga for Seniors
Yoga is a great resource for seniors looking to improve flexibility, relieve stress, and/or exercise. The main purpose of yoga is to open your body and clear your mind through deep breathing and stretches.
This practice is becoming more common among the elderly due to its gentle, yet effective impacts on the body. Yoga is great for people of all ages, sizes, and fitness abilities.
If you haven’t thought about incorporating yoga into your workout routine, here are some reasons that might change your mind.
Relieve Pain and Stress
It is very common to experience more aches and pains as we get older. Chronic pain is one of the biggest complaints among the elderly, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Yoga has been said to lessen the effects of chronic pain by keeping the affected area active. In addition to pain relief, yoga also decreases cortisol which is the body’s natural stress hormone that causes body fat. By breathing, stretching, and centering the body is able to normalize cortisol levels and maintain a healthy balance.
Increase Range of Motion
Flexibility, stability, and range of motion are important for people of all ages. Over time, our mobility becomes weakened, and falls become more prevalent and risky to the elderly. Practicing yoga increases our stability and mobility by strengthening the joints and muscles. There are very few practices that can improve flexibility as much as yoga can. By practicing yoga regularly, seniors can maintain their flexibility and help prevent many of the health problems that comes from musculoskeletal stiffness.
Improves Physical Health
The large majority of the elderly suffer from cardiovascular problems such as high cholesterol, poor blood flow, and high blood pressure. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. Yoga can help fight many of these problems by lowering the heart rate and improving circulation. Yoga also helps get the heart pumping, which provides the workout seniors need to keep their heart healthy and void of complications.
Promotes Positive Mental Health
Aside from the physical benefits, yoga provides several benefits to mental health. Exercise of all kinds do our mental and emotional health wonders. Many seniors struggle with depression as they lose the people closest to them, feel that they can no longer take care of themselves on their own, and watch their bodies get weak and frail. By working out regularly, they will feel happier, healthier, and more confident.
Two more common struggles the elderly face is anxiety and memory loss. Deep breathing is a priority element when doing yoga. This helps calm the body which brings mental clarity, focus, and concentration. Spending an hour doing yoga a few days a week will strengthen your mind tremendously.
Yoga is a dynamic activity that can fit anyone’s lifestyle. It can be practiced anywhere from inside your home, a park, or your nearest recreational center. There are many classes that are specifically geared to the ability and needs of seniors. Many recreational facilities even have classes for yoga beginners to those more advanced so don’t be afraid to participate.
If you don’t want to try it alone, make it a date and bring along your significant other or your closest friends. Always be sure to consult with your doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen.