As we age, it’s important to incorporate physical activity into our daily routines to help maintain a healthy lifestyle. With a regular exercise routine, seniors will feel more energetic and can help manage the aches and pains that come with aging. This leads to a more independent life where you’re staying safer and feeling your best.
Yoga has been called one of the best forms of exercise for older adults. Over time and with the proper classes, seniors can improve their flexibility and balance, enhance their strength and boost their mood.
Benefits of Yoga for Seniors
Retirement is the perfect time to try some new things and pick up some healthier habits you may not have had time to consider in your working years. If you’ve never tried yoga before, check out a class and experience some of the benefits of yoga for seniors like:
- Strengthened bones. Yoga for seniors can help prevent the onset of osteoporosis, which causes bones to become brittle or weak. Osteoporosis occurs when the creation of new bone can’t keep up with the decrease of bone mass and density that occurs with aging.
- Reduced stress. Yoga offers a relaxing way to let go of the tension you’re holding in your body, especially in your shoulders and upper back. It’s been known to help relieve some of the stresses that lead to hypertension, which in turn leads to not needing as many medications on a daily basis. Yoga also helps reduce anxiety, lowering your heart rate, blood pressure, and helping you breathe easier.
- Improved sleeping habits. Because yoga for seniors can be so relaxing, many individuals report that they are sleeping longer and more soundly, which can often be an issue for older adults.
- Enhanced balance, flexibility, mobility and strength. The slow, measured movements involved with yoga poses can lead to better balance and movement, which can also help prevent falls. As falls are the leading cause of injury among seniors, yoga helps provide the tools you need to improve your mobility so you can get around more safely.
- Lessen the risk for depression. Yoga is a mood-booster; the combination of movement, breathing and meditation can create an overall sense of well-being. Plus, because yoga is done in a class setting with your peers, you’re getting the benefit of staying socially active, as well.
- Alleviate aches and pains. Even if you have some physical limitations, yoga can help ease the aches and pains associated with aging. Yoga can be especially beneficial to those suffering from osteoarthritis, teaching you how to breathe and relax through any chronic pain you may be dealing with.
If you’re interested in trying out a yoga class, make sure you do a little research before you jump right into it. Many senior centers offer yoga especially for older adults, and these instructors will be well-versed in the techniques most beneficial to seniors.
Try a gentle class for beginners and if any of the poses are uncomfortable or lead to pain, know your limits. No matter what your current fitness level is, seniors can benefit from yoga every bit as much as younger adults.