Physical activity can help you live well no matter how old you are. But for many seniors and older adults, mobility issues can interfere with their ability to exercise. For those who suffer with arthritis, chronic pain and diseases that affect their balance, yoga can be a benefit.
Reduce stress and lower your blood pressure
Because yoga involves controlling your breathing it decreases nervous activity and lowers stress. This in turn can lower your blood pressure therefore decreasing the amount of medication needed. Controlled breathing also improves respiratory function in older adults.
Yoga is centered around focusing on your breathing and your movements. This increases awareness and mindfulness of your thoughts, environment and your body. Since it is a calming and relaxing form of exercise it also helps to reduce the fight or flight response in your body which causes inflammation.
Improve flexibility and balance
Yoga is a gentle form of exercise. Done slowly and at your own speed, you can gradually improve your flexibility and your strength. The moves are low impact and loosen your muscles gradually. This can tone your muscles and help to make them stronger which helps to prevent injuries.
Help you take off weight
As we grow older, our metabolism changes and it becomes more difficult to maintain a healthy weight. Practicing yoga has shown to improve concentration as well as determination. These factor into your life in other ways, helping you to improve your diet.
Though getting older poses many challenges both physically and emotionally, yoga manages to balance physical health with psychological health. By helping with balance and flexibility you become more active. Activity leads to improved emotional health and well being. Enhanced well being helps you to lead a well rounded life as a senior. This September is National Yoga Month. Look into yoga classes in your area or search online for information on practicing in your home.
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