Exercise and Fitness
Yoga Is For Seniors As Well As Young Folks!
What springs to mind when someone says, ‘Yoga”? Images of people with their feet wrapped around their head? A man or woman sitting serenely on a beautiful beach with an impossibly good tan and physique? Well, these stereotypes of yoga lovers don’t paint the whole picture for yoga isn’t just for the super flexible and devoted practitioners. It is for everyone of all ages.
You wouldn’t be the first or the last to think that yoga is a form of exercise that is better suited to young folk than seniors. In fact practicing yoga is excellent for seniors and can help them to significantly improve a variety of common health conditions.
Difficulty in sleeping, painful arthritis, high blood pressure, and stiff joints are just a few of the typical health issues faced by many seniors. The ancient practice of yoga, however, combines gentle cardiovascular exercise with relaxation and breathing techniques and gives individuals of any age the opportunity to stay fit and maintain their general health and wellbeing at the same time.
If you would like to find out more about how your body can benefit from yoga then read on and discover what it can do for you and how to get started.
The 5 key benefits of yoga for seniors are:
- Improved Flexibility, Mobility and Balance
Through stretching joints and muscles whilst learning to hold a range of gentle yoga poses, posture can be improved and general flexibility, strength, and mobility increased. This is important because as seniors age and become less active, flexibility is typically greatly reduced.
Ease of mobility and stable balance is crucial for seniors wanting to retain their independence and the good posture achieved through yoga significantly helps to avoid the risk of having accidents and falls. Yoga poses help individuals to learn how to distribute their body weight equally and use the whole surface of their feet to maintain a good level of stability and move around with confidence.
- Improved Sleep
Yoga can be a wonderful solution for anyone who has trouble sleeping. Many people find that after practicing yoga they fall asleep far more easily, due to the physical demands of holding the yoga poses, as well as the various relaxation techniques.
Once asleep, the depth and duration of sleep is increased too! Good quality and duration of sleep is essential, as it means you wake feeling properly refreshed and feel great throughout the day.
This is important because over just a short period of time, poor sleep can lead to a wide number of health problems.
- Pain Relief
Many seniors find themselves experiencing pain in their muscles and joints at some point and may also suffer pain caused by arthritis. Yoga has the potential to be an effective tool for pain relief and can in many cases reduce the need to take medication for pain relief.
- Reduced Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can have serious health implications when left untreated and tends to be a common health concern for seniors. The physical activity of practicing yoga, combined with correct breathing techniques has a calming effect that is incredibly effective in the reduction of high blood pressure.
Studies have shown that blood pressure can be reduced to a much safer level over a short period of time through regularly practicing yoga.
- Boost Your Immune System
Did you know that yoga can even help to boost your immune system? A number of the yoga poses are designed to help the body to release unwanted toxins which in turn gives the immune system a real boost. In the later stages of life when our immune systems have become less efficient, leaving us more susceptible to colds, influenza, and so on, this can be hugely beneficial.
A New Lease of Life!
By joining a local class or group and practicing yoga, seniors can maintain their fitness and health and improve their overall wellbeing. Just an hour a week could make a real difference and make you feel noticeably healthier and more agile, giving you a new lease of life.
Look in your local area for classes aimed at beginners or seniors and take it at your own pace, always respecting the limits of your body. Once you have been going to classes for a little while then you’ll be able to start practicing at home too.
Regardless of your years, you too can experience the numerous benefits associated with practicing yoga!
About the Author
Felix Marsh is a member of the team at Heritage Independent Living. They are a respected Live-in Care introductory agency that matches experienced live-in or daily companions and carers with a wide range of people from elder citizens, wishing to maintain an independent lifestyle, to physically or mentally disabled clients of all ages.