The Benefits of Yoga for Seniors

Yoga involves low-impact exercises that can be performed anywhere there’s space; four or five feet and dedication is all that’s required. While yoga is beneficial to people of all ages, it’s particularly healthy for seniors.

In fact, there are a number of benefits yoga offers those in their golden years. Some of these perks include:

Improved Sleep

According to Live Strong, the physical demands of yoga synergize with its relaxation techniques to offer those who practice a good night of sleep. This translates into an overall improved quality of life: those who are well-rested feel less stress and suffer from fewer health complications.

Chronic Pain Relief

Chronic pain is a common complaint among the elderly, but yoga helps relieve this discomfort. A study conducted at the UCLA Medical Center found that those who practice yoga require less pain medication than those who don’t strike a pose.  

Increased Blood Flow

Per the University of Washington, yoga increases blood flow by improving circulation. Improved circulation drives more oxygen into the cells, which helps the organs, muscles, and nerves function. Yoga also increases the hemoglobin levels found in red blood cells, something that’s particularly important to people as they age. Low hemoglobin levels can increase the risk of both heart attack and stroke.

Improved Lymph Function

The movements of yoga open the body and allow it to better use the lymph system as intended: to fight infection. Yoga International reports that any type of muscular contraction enhances the lymph system, but yoga is particularly beneficial because of its focus on the entire skeletal system.

The physical benefits of yoga are certainly not limited to the above. Some of the other ways it aids in health include: reducing joint swelling, increasing flexibility and mobility, improving heart function, aiding digestion, increasing balance, and helping patience recover from surgery faster.

Yoga and Mental Health

Of course, a great deal of yoga involves the mental and emotional, as well. Yoga is a well-known stress reducer that improves mood and decreases anxiety, but those are far from the only benefits. Indirectly, a yoga class can help seniors by engaging them in social activities.

According to Web MD, people with a strong support system have an increased lifespan when compared to those who don’t. In short, that’s what friends are for – longevity. Yoga can be practiced in a solitary environment, but seniors may benefit the most if it’s practiced in groups. Groups give people the chance to relate to each other, lean on each other, and laugh together.

At all ages, yoga benefits the mind, body, and spirit. But it’s especially suited to seniors because of its ease. Though it pushes the muscles and one’s flexibility, it doesn’t require the stamina or strength of other types of exercise like running, swimming, or weight lifting. It’s also an excellent way to engage those looking for challenging experiences or, simply, to get out and about and make some new friends. To get more information on other activities wonderful for seniors, please visit our site or contact us

 

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