Physical activity is good for you at any age. But sometimes, as we grow older, we have limitations that prevent us from engaging in certain forms of exercise. Seniors may have multiple chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, arthritis and diabetes. Some may sleep restlessly, leading to an increase in their symptoms. Yoga benefits most people in many ways including seniors and it can be fun!
Yoga has been proven to help with many conditions. Since it combines physical poses with relaxation and breathing techniques, it can improve your overall health. Always check with your physician before beginning any type of exercise.
How can yoga help to improve the health of seniors?
Yoga improves your sense of body awareness, which means increased confidence in your ability to get around without falling , extremely important as we age. It encourages you to take care of yourself instead of relying on conventional treatments such as prescription medication. This puts seniors in charge instead of being passive in regard to their medical care. Yoga will give you the tools to both heal and and change yourself.
Yoga benefits include:
- Reduce stress and improve depression.
- Improve sleep quality.
- Help with chronic pain and arthritic pain.
- Help control blood sugar and respiratory function.
- Support your connective tissue
- Increase bone density and prevent osteoporosis.
- Improve balance. For seniors, this may mean more independence and delayed admission to a nursing home or never entering one at all.
- Encourage self care and help with focus.
- Improve your flexibility almost immediately.
- Lower your blood pressure and put more oxygen into your cells, which will help with your circulation.
For seniors, some or all of these yoga benefits may make you feel better but better yet, may mean more independence. Some might say enable a delayed admission to assisted living or long term care facilities or never entering one at all.
Yoga is also something that an older person and their caregiver may want to do together. It may help to form a bond between a caregiver and their loved one. By building muscle and mental strength together, they learn to support one another.
By taking yoga classes at senior centres or practicing yoga at home, you will start to feel more limber and mobile. You may also be on your way to better health.
This article is intended for informational purposes only. Please consult your health practitioner for more information on yoga for seniors.