Mindfulness

How Yoga Can Help Seniors in Living a Joy-filled Life?

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Posted By Alex Perez - Mental Health Writer, B.A.

Any age can benefit from physical activity, but as we age, physical constraints may prevent us from engaging in the same kinds of activities that we previously could. Do we simply stop moving, though? That’s not even an option. Life is all about moving, being on the go and keeping your body active. If we let our bodies rest for longer periods, it might result in adverse circumstances, leading to joint pain, muscle swelling etc.

As one grows old, their energy levels reduce compared to when they were young. Therefore, there are so many ways of keeping oneself active and fresh. One such technique is yoga, which involves graceful and low-impact movements that would be suitable for all ages. 

Let’s look at the major benefits and health impacts of yoga, especially for senior citizens;

Benefits of Yoga for Seniors

Yoga Reduces High Blood Pressure

yoga seniors

With increasing age, high blood pressure becomes a huge concern for seniors. This is caused by stress and tension, which are inevitable at this age. Yoga has proven to help people with high blood pressure issues as it calms the nerves and settles intrusive thoughts. High blood pressure can lead to worse possible outcomes such as heart failure, hence it is better to practice yoga to help reduce high blood pressure issues.

Yoga Relieves Back Pain

Yoga helps in stretching the muscles and strengthening the core. This would give you an upright posture avoiding slouching and getting rid of back pains. The core muscles would help in putting less pressure on the back and avoid damaging back muscles.

Yoga Improves Breathing

A stable respiratory system would ensure proper breathing and well-being of an individual. Breathing practices in yoga are a great way to improve the strength of your respiratory system. Studies have proven that seniors that followed a specific yoga routine had less difficulty in breathing compared to those who did not have a yoga routine. The stretching movements of the spine would also promote good back health and reduce inflammation in the respiratory system. Early care can help avoid asthma attacks and further breathing difficulties.

Yoga Helps in Digestion

Indigestion becomes an issue in later stages of life. Reduced movements, sensitivity to specific foods, weak metabolism, etc., become causes of bloating, constipation, and indigestion. Light movements and stretching of muscles can help ease these issues and increase your metabolism. Performing yoga postures would promote digestion; however, there should be a gap of a few hours between your meal and yoga.

Yoga Promotes Blood Circulation

yoga seniors

A common thought process is to reduce physical activity as one grows old and substitute it with hours of rest. However, this can negatively impact the circulation of blood in your body, causing blood accumulation and swelling of lower body muscles. Creating a habit of yoga will not only increase your blood circulation but also keep you active and healthy.

Yoga Helps in Increasing Joint Health and Bone Strength

Strengthening yoga exercises can increase bone strength and give flexibility to stiff joints. Some bone diseases may develop at later ages including osteoporosis and osteoarthritis that are related to weak bone and painful joints. Stretching movements of yoga would maintain bone density and heal stiff joints in old people.

Yoga Reduces Stress Helping in Better Sleep

Yoga is good for calming down nerves as it produces melatonin and serotonin, like any other physical activity. Hence, performing yoga would give you better sleep and reduce stressful feelings.

Yoga Gives Balance and Stability

yoga happy seniors

For seniors, yoga is a key to healthy and sustainable life. It is not too strenuous, nor exhausting. Yoga only requires a few simple stretching exercises that promote flexibility and give them a balanced body. It helps them in their fragile stage of life preventing injuries. It would stabilize both their emotional and physical health and give them a better sense of living.

Yoga For Individuals with Dementia

Some particular situations that involve conditions like dementia can also be improved by yoga. A specific type of yoga involving a chair can help with dementia care Lakewood. Studies have shown that dementia patients become more responsive to this 35-45 minutes activity.

We hope this article was a good read for you and you learnt some interesting things from it!


References

Ross, A., Thomas, S. (2010). The health benefits of yoga and exercise: a review of comparison studies. The journal of alternative and complementary medicine, 16, 1, 3-12.

Gururaja, D., Harano, K., Toyotake, I., et al. (2011). Effect of yoga on mental health: Comparative study between young and senior subjects in Japan. International Journal of Yoga, 4, 1, 7.

Ross, A., Friedmann, E., Bevans, M., Thomas, S. (2013). National survey of yoga practitioners: mental and physical health benefits. Complementary therapies in medicine, 21, 4, 313-323.

Shashidhara, M. (2016). Effect of yoga on mental health among young and seniors in India.

Paholpak, P., Obler, L., Lavretsky, H. (2018). Yoga for Seniors: Mechanisms of Response to Yoga Therapy in Older Adults. In Research-Based Perspectives on the Psychophysiology of Yoga (pp. 151-174). IGI Global.

Davenport, C., Gorman, S., Covert, L. (2018). Mobility and Aging: The Benefits of Incorporating Yoga Amongst Seniors.

Nanduri, V. S. (2020). Effectiveness of Yoga Prana Vidya practice protocols for health improvements and boosting immunity of seniors–A review. J. Bio. Innov, 9, 4, 583-588.

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