If you are looking to get out of the house, get some exercise and have some fun, plus you want to maintain your health too, yoga for seniors is a great idea. That said, why would seniors want to do yoga?
There are a variety of benefits that come along with doing yoga for anybody and everybody out there, and these benefits are all that much more important for seniors. Let’s go over the greatest benefits that come with yoga for seniors.
One benefit, especially for seniors, is that it can go a long way in increasing cardiovascular health, and this is true in a few different ways. For one, yoga has been shown to benefit heart health, especially when it comes to maintaining good blood pressure levels. Yoga is not the most strenuous form of exercise, but it can get the heart pounding a little bit.
Of course, too much is not ideal, but a little bit is never bad. Increasing heart health and maintaining blood pressure is only half of it, because yoga also does a lot for lung health and respiration. It can help seniors breathe easier by increasing the amount of oxygen which lungs can absorb and send into the bloodstream. Cardiovascular diseases is a leading cause of death in seniors, and yoga is a great way to combat this.
Another reason why doing yoga is beneficial for seniors is because it can do a lot of in terms of physical strength. Unfortunately, as we age, we lose muscle strength, and this means that as we get older, we have a much harder time lifting objects, and at the same time, it comes to the point where lifting our own bodyweight becomes a challenge too.
No, it’s not like yoga will turn you into Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, but it does help increase lean muscle mass, or at the very least, it can help maintain the amount of muscle mass that is still present. Simply put, it makes you physically stronger, and as you age this is important.
One of the biggest benefits that anybody, including seniors, will gain from doing yoga regularly, is increased flexibility and mobility. If you have ever seen yoga in action, you know that there are various different poses that people do. These poses and movements are designed to stretch your muscles and your ligaments so you can move easier, be more flexible, and retain mobility.
For instance, arthritis causes swelling around the joints, inflexibility, and immobility, and yoga is something that can help reverse this, or at least keep it from getting worse. It’s all about keeping your joints active and keeping them from seizing up, as well as keeping your muscles and ligaments mobile too. This is not only for elderly people, as everybody can benefit from additional flexibility, but when it comes to seniors, it can add years of increased mobility.
The next benefit that seniors can get from doing yoga on a regular basis is increased bone health. Osteoporosis is a condition that causes the weakening and fragility of bones. When you hear of seniors slipping and breaking a hip, leg, or arm, it often has to do with osteoporosis, or any other condition related to weakened bone structure.
Just as you can exercise your muscles, you can also technically exercise your bones, in much the same way. Simply putting weight and pressure on your bones, which happens in yoga, will help to increase bone bass and density, thus strengthening bones and preventing breaks and fractures from occurring. It can make the difference between a simple slip and a broken hip.
Something that many people may not realize about yoga, is that even if there were no other physical benefits, which we know is not the case, there are also some mental and social benefits to think about. Simply put, some seniors spend most of their time at home, and often alone. Of course, this gets lonely, it’s boring, and it’s not good for their mental health either. If nothing else, yoga gets you out of the house, it gets you talking to people, maybe even making new friends too.
We talked about slipping and falling before, as well as bone health. Yoga for seniors will also help to increase balance. Balance has to do with physical strength, but there are mental and brain-related factors involved.
Going back to the poses you do in yoga, they can go a long way in helping to increase your ability to balance and stay upright on your feet. This then in turn can make the difference between staying upright or falling down in a slippery situation. As you can see, yoga can help prevent injuries in more ways than one, and this becomes increasingly important for seniors.
Any form of exercise is good for mental health. Have you ever heard of the ‘runners high’? Well, this is what we are getting at. Exercise of any form, and this includes yoga, causes the brain to release various chemicals, such as serotonin, and they all have beneficial effects. These are brain chemicals which cause happiness and elation, and others which reduce anxiety and depression. This is good for everybody, not just seniors.
The bottom line is that yoga for seniors is a great idea for many reasons. As you can see, the benefits are not only numerous, but each benefit is pretty important and crucial, and they only become more important the older you get.