Should Seniors Practice Yoga?
As life expectancy rates rise on a global level, it is more important than ever to treat our bodies with respect. Regardless of your age, you should determine what small changes you can and wish to make to ensure you can maintain a healthy lifestyle for many years to come.
Even though you may not have been of the mindset in your younger years to consider what you consumed and how much you exercised, as a senior there’s no time like the present to think differently. It’s never too late to make changes that could have a positive impact on your overall health and well-being as you head into your 60s, 70s and 80’s and older.
If you’re near or at retirement, you might want to consider practicing yoga. For those who are not familiar with yoga, in simple terms, it is a series of physical postures (or poses), breathing techniques, and meditation meant to improve physical and emotional wellness.
Yoga is ideal for people of all skill levels and it can help to improve mobility, balance, strength, and muscle tone which are all important for seniors.
With regular practice, it is believed that yoga may help to:
- Prevent falls
- Lower the risk of cardiovascular disease
- Improve sleep
- Manage pain and inflammation due to arthritis
- Aid with digestive issues
- Manage depression and anxiety
- Improve moods
- Make social connections.
Yoga is a great form of exercise for seniors because it is low-impact and doesn’t require any equipment. Most trained instructors will be able to identify poses that are suitable for senior’s needs and bodies. Chair Yoga is often geared towards the older generation because many of the postures are done sitting on a chair or standing using the chair for support.
Another advantage to yoga is that it is adaptable, regardless of your age. You do what you are able to by adjusting the flexibility involved and the amount of time and effort spent in each pose.
You may feel intimated at first, simply because this is something that you’ve never done before. Set a goal, try it and before you know it you’ll be comfortable and enjoying this amazing form of exercise. Namaste.
*Be sure to consult with your doctor before starting a new exercise program and if you decide to try yoga be sure to start with a very gentle practice and look for a qualified instructor.