Yoga For Seniors: The importance of exercise for senior or older adults can hardly be overstated. As we grow older the need for a moderately active lifestyle becomes more apparent. Senior citizens who are able to incorporate regular exercise activities into their lives greatly reduce their risk of diabetes, heart disease, and injuries sustained from falls.
Reasons For Seniors To Start Yoga Practice
- There are other issues that many older adults face as they age. Depression and anxiety often increase and the need for a spiritual connection becomes more evident.
- Also, studies indicate that seniors who take part in regular social activities lead longer, healthier lives and naturally the quality of life that they lead is much stronger.
- With all of these factors in play, taking part in a regular yoga regimen is a terrific way for older adults to the reap benefits of checking all of the above off the “ought to do” list.
- One of the beauties of yoga is that it is a very flexible activity (pun intended!) that can be tailored to the specific needs and agility confines of the individual person. For older adults, this means that there are still plenty of advantageous yoga poses that can be performed without the need to push the body beyond its limitations.
- And the benefits are multi-faceted and quickly achievable. Active yoga participants not only become more fit, but the mind becomes calmer and an overall relaxed sensation washes over the partaker. Not only does it rapidly improve flexibility, making the body more limber and nimble, but it also greatly improves balance – which can mitigate the dangers of falls, an all-too-common injury inducer among older adults.
- Also, breathing techniques alone can be of great assistance to any older adult suffering from respiratory ailments. And the regular practice of yoga helps people – young and old alike – be more in tune with their “true selves”, helping them accept some realities (such as ageing) that might otherwise be unpleasant.
Add to all this the fact that yoga is a great avenue for social interaction, and that yoga’s increasing popularity means that there is probably a yoga class or group session happening right now in your area, and yoga truly is a unique and powerful option for senior citizens looking to lead a healthy, vibrant and all-together more positive existence.
Benefits of Yoga For Senior Citizens
Still not convinced? Well, don’t take my word for it. Talk to your doctor, caregivers, and local yoga practitioners. Before you do, take a look at some of the specific benefits yoga brings, according to respected medical publications:
1. Overall Health and Wellness
A study published earlier this year showed that not only is yoga valuable as an exercise practice, but it also suggested that yoga is more beneficial to older adults than other exercise routines. The study concluded that when it comes to aerobic condition, strength, and older adults’ overall assessment of their own health, yoga outperformed more conventional exercise options by a considerable margin.
A 2005 study found that yoga was incredibly effective at reducing the issues associated with insomnia amongst older adults, which it described as a frequent and chronic occurrence. The study found that implementing a yoga routine led older adults to get more sleep, fall asleep quicker, and feel more refreshed the next day. The conclusion was clear: yoga helps immensely with sleep-related issues, particularly for those of a certain age.
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3. Fall prevention
In July of this year, a study was published that showed that for seniors struggling with a loss of some mobility, the implementation of chair yoga routines was instrumental in improving mobility conditions and furthermore reduced the apprehension many older adults have of falling. The study also suggested that participants’ overall anxiety levels were reduced upon the incorporation of the yoga practice.
4. Psychological issues
A 2011 study showed that adding yoga to older adults’ health management plans proved very effective in mitigating many psychological issues prevalent in the aging community. Researchers found that the key benefits to the overall psychological well-being of older adults were manifested in a decrease in anxiety, stress, and depression, and a corresponding increase in the ability to cope and manage health challenges inherent in the older generation.
5. Help in Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms
A study showed that regular yoga practice improved the grip strength of older adults living with rheumatoid arthritis. The study found that the improvement was particularly evident in older women, though men also benefitted from adding yoga to their exercise routines.