4 Health Benefits of Yoga for Seniors
A regular yoga practice can be a great way to stay strong and mobile as you age! Here are 4 of the top health benefits of yoga for seniors…
While some people think of yoga as a pursuit for young, “bendy” people, in fact, yoga has numerous benefits for seniors as well, and can be a great low-impact form of exercise to continue as you age. In your golden years, yoga can help you to stay strong and healthy, improve both bone and muscle strength, maintain flexibility and mobility, and prevent falls and injuries.
Maintaining strong muscles and bones is key to staying healthy and active as you age, and yoga can be a great way to accomplish this, even if you’re not as flexible as you were in your 30’s and 40’s.
Be sure to take precautions to stay safe while practicing yoga. Listening to your body is important at any age! If something doesn’t feel right, stop or ease up – never force it. Move slowly and deliberately, and if you find yourself feeling off-balance in certain poses, feel free to use props such as yoga blocks, a chair, or a wall to help you stay safe and stable. For seniors with poor mobility or physical disabilities, you can even practice chair yoga! There are many yoga poses that can be adapted to be done in a seated position – even if you are confined to a wheelchair.
Here are 4 great health benefits of yoga for seniors:
Stronger joints and better mobility: Studies have found yoga to be an effective tool for managing pain in women with knee osteoarthritis. Yoga works to improve flexibility and strengthen muscles, which can reduce the risk of falling and injuring yourself.
Lower blood pressure levels: Hypertension is a common concern with seniors, but yoga has been found to help! High blood pressure is often caused by high levels of oxidative stress, which is an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body. For those who practice yoga regularly, oxidative stress seems to be much lower, thereby reducing blood pressure.
Better lung function and respiratory system: Another common problem among seniors is asthma and COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Luckily, yoga can help. Studies have found that yoga positively impacts respiratory function, decreases respiratory rate and even decreases heart rate, improving overall lung function.
Improved mental health and clarity: With more than half of seniors over 55 reporting a mental health concern, depression is a big deal for older adults. Yoga has been found to have a positive impact on both mood and mental health and has even been found to alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, and general stress.