Flex Time: Yoga Provides Many Healthy Benefits for Seniors
Age is just a number, and even when our hair grows grey, and our skin grows wrinkled, it doesn’t mean we can’t push ourselves to live active and healthy lifestyles. Many seniors today have realized that there’s an easy way to stay active, mentally sharp, and spiritually whole—all at the same time. The secret is yoga, and whether you are caring for an aging individual, or aging yourself, you too can benefit from practicing yoga.
Yoga is Good for Old Bones
Health experts have been raving about the physical benefits of practicing yoga for years, now. While most exercises highlight improving strength and endurance, yoga highlights flexibility through achieving several poses. This type of exercise is low-impact, and good for older individuals to begin without pushing themselves to physical injury. Yoga will help you to return flexibility to your joints, reducing the chance for you to injure yourself when being physically active throughout the day. Additionally, practicing yoga will give you just enough strength and endurance training to burn fat and build muscle strength to give you a greater physical capacity for daily activities.
Yoga is a Way to Purify Yourself
It remains an unfortunate truth that many seniors struggle with addiction to alcohol and prescription medications. Sometimes this addiction is the result of depression, which can come in the later years of life. Addiction can wreak havoc on your life and the relationships you value. If you have struggled with addiction before and are currently in recovery, then yoga could be the perfect supplementary activity to help get your life back on track. For those in recovery, it’s important to regain love for the physical and spiritual self. Yoga is the ideal exercise to help peel away the toxic perceptions about yourself and learn to love who you are on the outside as well as the inside.
Yoga Melts Away Stress and Anxiety
Even if you are not personally struggling with addiction, you might still be facing some form of stress, anxiety or depression. Living an active lifestyle has been proven to curb these negative feelings for all age groups, including seniors. Living an active lifestyle through yoga could be the answer to keep you positive about yourself and help you through moments of stress and anxiety. As many who already practice yoga will tell you, meditation is a large part of the process. Through meditative practices that come built into yoga, you will gain mental clarity and spiritual peace. Even practicing yoga for 30 minutes each day can help remove stress from your life and have you feeling better about yourself.
Yoga Builds Relationships and Community
Sometimes with old age we fall out of regular contact with people important to us. Having daily social interaction is an important part of life and can fill our lives with purpose and meaning. While yoga can be practiced on your own, with a mat and instructional video, yoga is primarily done in a group setting. When you go to a local community center for open yoga classes, you will meet many different people, even other seniors. This kind of social setting is perfect for meeting new people and building new relationships. Having this kind of daily interaction can add so much happiness and possibility to your life, you would be remiss not to try.
So, if you are looking to get up and active, why not consider yoga? It’s the easiest exercise to explore and there are plenty of yoga positions and courses aimed for older adults. By regularly including yoga meditations and exercises to your daily life, you will be able to live a more active and fulfilling life.
About the Author
Harry Cline is creator of NewCaregiver.org and author of the upcoming book, The A-Z Home Care Handbook: Health Management How-Tos for Senior Caregivers. As a retired nursing home administrator, father of three, and caregiver to his ninety-year-old uncle, Harry knows how challenging and rewarding caregiving can be. He also understands that caregiving is often overwhelming for those just starting out. He created his website and is writing his new book to offer new caregivers everywhere help and support.