If you’ve ever thought about doing yoga before, your mind is in the right place! Yoga is a wonderful activity for older adults. Even those with limited mobility can benefit from the exercises.
As you age, your risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, joint problems, depression, etc. increase. By eating a well-balanced diet and getting physical activity each day, you can significantly reduce these risks and protect your mental and physical health.
Below are five ways that older adults can benefit from something as simple as yoga.
1. Improved Balance and Stability
Slips and falls are common in older adults. In fact, falls are a leading cause of death in older adults. Fortunately, practicing yoga allows you to strengthen your muscles and improve your balance. Not all falls can be prevented, but many can. And, if you are to slip and fall, you should be able to bounce back quickly if you’re in good physical health.
2. Improved Flexibility and Joint Health
You’ve probably seen people doing yoga poses on TV or in person. They require a lot of flexibility! Luckily, greater flexibility is within reach. Yoga teaches you how to stretch your muscles and relieve achy joints. This is why people with osteoarthritis often use yoga as a form of therapy. Also, yoga is low impact, which means it puts less stress on the body than other exercises.
3. Reduced Blood Pressure
Many older Americans are living with high blood pressure, but this can be reversed with diet and exercise. Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death for both men and women, so it must be taken seriously. Yoga counts as exercise and is known to reduce oxidative stress in the elderly, which contributes to high blood pressure.
4. Encouraged Mindfulness
Yoga and mindfulness are two activities that go hand in hand. Mindfulness is being aware of what’s around you, and it takes skill and practice to be effective in it. Once you achieve mindfulness, the world around you becomes more enjoyable. You can form deeper connections with others, practice gratitude and expand awareness. This is an excellent way to nourish your mental health.
5. Improved Respiration
Keeping your respiratory system in its best condition is important with age, as respiratory limitations are common. Age-related changes can result in decreased peak air flow, decreased lung function and weakening of the chest muscles. Yoga can help with all of these changes, as it stretches the muscles and encourages deep breathing.
As you can see, yoga is a wonderful addition to your life! You can find yoga programs at your local park district or community center.