The following is a guest post submitted by Felix Marsh of Heritage Live In Care and does not necessarily reflect the view of Exercise Basics.
In later life our immune systems begin to struggle and our bodies lose their efficiency, so maintaining the best possible health and fitness through a good diet and regular gentle exercise is essential at this stage of life.
Despite many people’s belief that yoga is a form of exercise reserved for super fit (and incredibly bendy) young folk, seniors practicing yoga can also enjoy the wide variation of benefits this ancient tool for healthy living has to offer as yoga helps them to maintain their health at the same time as significantly improving their general wellbeing.
There are many different yoga poses, or ‘asanas’ to choose from, starting with the most basic and progressing to the more advanced. Yoga combines these poses with breathing techniques and meditation in order to improve physical and emotional health, clear the body of toxins and leaves the individual feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
The key benefits yoga provides for your physical health:
• A boost to the immune system
• Better quality sleeping patterns
• Reduced blood pressure
• Effective pain relief
• Better balance, mobility and flexibility
The key benefits yoga provides your psychological and emotional wellbeing:
• New friendships and social opportunities
• A calm, stress free mind
• Boosted confidence
• Relief of depression and anxiety
• Memory and concentration is improved
Let’s take a closer look at the wonderful key benefits listed above…
A number of the yoga poses promote cleansing and help the body to release unwanted toxins and this
gives a real boost to your immune system.
Physical exercise alone can help all of us to get to sleep more easily, but yoga with its combination of exercise, relaxation and correct breathing techniques helps you to sleep longer and deeper so you wake up feeling totally refreshed.
Many seniors experience issues with high blood pressure which can have serious long term effects if it is not kept under control. Through its calming influence, exercise and breathing techniques, yoga can in many cases significantly lower your blood pressure.
Pain in the joints and muscles and arthritic pain usually result in the need for medication, but for a variety of different conditions, yoga can offer effective pain relief and for some people can actually eliminate the need to take any medication for pain relief.
Balance, Mobility and Flexibility
Issues with balance are a common problem for seniors and often the cause of painful falls. Through yoga, individuals learn how to distribute weight evenly across their feet, which improves their stability and balance. The majority of the asanas focus on correct posture and gentle stretching to keep the body fit and flexible.
Participating in a regular yoga class can open up new social opportunities and help seniors to form new friendships with people.
Yoga helps to relieve the mind of ‘clutter’ and troubling thoughts by helping you to remain in the present. This is a valuable tool for anyone who is prone to feeling stressed and worried.
Whether it is new friends, improved strength and mobility or simply feeling fitter, yoga can improve your confidence on many different levels.
Depression and Anxiety
Stretching and deep breathing increases the body’s oxygen supply which helps to relieve tension. This, combined with all of the other physical and psychological benefits can make a positive impact on anyone who is suffering the effects of depression and anxiety.
Memory and Concentration
Yoga teaches you the tools required to change the way you think, helping you to filter out stress and negative thoughts. The reduction of stress which affects the memory and concentration helps you to maintain a healthy mind.
Experience the benefits for yourself!
Anyone of any age can enjoy the great benefits of achieved by practicing yoga. Providing you take it at your own pace and respect your body’s limits, you will soon find yourself feeling younger, fitter and happier.
Yoga isn’t just for young folks it’s for everyone!