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Senior Fitness: Yoga Benefits the Mind and Body

April 4, 2016

Exercise is essential to a healthier heart and a longer life for seniors, but staying fit can be difficult due to health problems and frailty. Joining an exercise class can be stressful and make health issues worsen. To avoid these risks, elderly people who wish to exercise in a calm, gentle and easy way should consider taking up yoga. Yoga helps you stay fit and limber without the risk of overexercising. It offers both physical and mental health benefits. 

 

 

Here are just a few ways regular yoga can improve your life:

 

1. Improves Bone Health

Yoga helps increase bone density, flexibility and strength. Doctors say that as little as 12 minutes of yoga a day will increase senior's bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis or other bone disease.

 

2. Protects Joints

Regular practice of yoga can help improve flexibility and reduce joint pain to make your daily activities more comfortable. Certain positions must be modified to accommodate the condition of the individual senior, but no matter what, you will see improvement in their movement. The gentle activity of yoga have been proven to improve joint stiffness, allowing arthritis patients to better manage their pain and increasing energy.

 

3. Reduces Hypertension

Studies show that yoga helps reduce stress and physical tension in the body, the main sources of hypertension. Yoga promotes steady breathing and mindfulness which helps the heart to slow down, the muscles to relax and reduce nervous activity. Yoga can also help reduce blood pressure in hypertensive seniors.

 

4. Increases Mindfulness

The combination of controlled and gentle physical movement with regulated breathing and meditation are key to reducing stress for seniors. Yoga not only contributes to relaxation, but it can also increase focus. It encourages patients to become conscious of their bodies, monitor their pain, and improve their mental health. Another benefit of yoga is that it allows practitioners to exercise at their own pace; there's no rush or push. 

 

Yoga promotes both mental and physical health for seniors and people of all ages. Many gyms offer weekly yoga classes for all ages and special senior classes. Some cities even offer yoga in the park or by the beach so exercising becomes a social and more pleasing experience. You can even practice yoga in your own home or backyard with instruction videos found online. Consult your doctor to see if yoga is a good option for you!

 

Source: http://www.bestofhomecare.com/articles/the-health-and-wellness-benefits-of-yoga-for-seniors/

 

Here's an Online Video:

Full Length Gentle Yoga Class for Beginners and Seniors Vol. 1

 

 

 

 

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