Top Health Benefits of Yoga for Seniors
Professional Instructors Available at Our Retirement Community
You are never too old to begin yoga. Seniors at our retirement community that do yoga have found it is an easy way to stay in shape and get relief from aches and pains that manifest as we get older. There is also plenty of research to show that practicing yoga can help relieve common conditions such as arthritis, rheumatism, hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease and incontinence which are typically associated with seniors over the age of 50.
How Yoga Improves the Health of Seniors
- Movement without strain: While exercise is important for seniors, the risk of injury brought about by any high-intensity activities is also fairly high. Yoga is a low-impact exercise option that provides cardiovascular benefits as well as strength training, while being relatively easier on the body than running and weight lifting.
- Improved flexibility: Range of motion decreases as we age, causing mobility issues. Yoga provides gentle stretching to help enhance spinal flexibility and blood circulation, both of which contribute to a more active and healthy lifestyle.
- Stronger bones: Many individuals who are in or past their fifties are at risk of developing osteoporosis. Studies show that the weight bearing activities yoga involves, contribute to improved bone health by reducing bone thinning, particularly in post-menopausal women.
- Weight control: Yoga promotes better discipline, helping you make healthier dietary choices and keep those extra pounds at bay.
- Reduced blood pressure: According to a study in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension, participants who practiced yoga 6 hours a week for 11 weeks reduced their systolic blood pressure (the top number) by 33 points when compared with 4 points for a control group. The researchers felt that the controlled breathing practiced in yoga helped regulate nervous system activity, which in turn helped manage blood pressure levels.
7 Yoga Tips from the Experts in Our Retirement Living Community
Consult with Your Doctor
Before you start yoga, talk to your doctor to make sure it is a good idea for you. If you have trouble with your knees, hips, back, or any other joints or muscles, they may recommend suitable yoga for you and some stretches to help you get started. They may also assist you with the precautions you should take to avoid pushing yourself too much.
In addition to consulting a physical therapist or doctor, you can also talk to your friends about starting yoga. You can ask them about yoga classes for seniors, tips for starting out, and more. You can engage in longer warm-ups and a less intense physical practice that suits you.
Get a Yoga Mat
You don’t have to spend lots of money buying the latest gear for practicing yoga. However, you may want to invest in a yoga mat that is the length of your body. This will ensure you have enough support from head to toe when you are lying down.
Practice at Home
Recently, many people have started exercising from home. Whether you live in a retirement community home or with your family, it is best to learn from experts before you practice by yourself to learn the correct posture and breathing techniques. Doing so will enhance your flexibility and strength and help you feel more confident.
Take It Slowly
When you start practicing yoga, it is best to take your time and learn each pose slowly to notice the sensations in your body and gain proper footing. This also gives you time to build strength and be mindful of your alignment. The experts in our retirement living facility recommend setting a pace and practicing it regularly for the best results.
Warm-Up and Cool Down Routines
Studies indicate that our body’s agility and metabolism tend to reduce gradually after 45 years. A consistent warm-up and cool-down routine are essential to improve your range of motion and avoid injuries in your senior years. Although yoga classes are usually gentle, you need to cool your body down after practice.
Meditate as You Practice
Since meditation is often practiced with yoga, you may consider adding a meditation session to your yoga practice. It is an excellent way to boost the overall benefits of yoga. Although you may find it challenging initially, you will get the hang of it once you become comfortable with the routine. It is beneficial to give yourself enough time to get used to it and put in the effort required for meditation. This way, you can discover that meditation is all about enjoying how your thoughts flow and monitoring your emotions.
Benefits of Meditation
Cope Better with Aging
Being at peace with the aging process can be difficult. You may have concerns about your health and future. You may find it challenging to talk to your family and friends in a way that makes you feel connected. Regularly meditating can help you listen to yourself, identify what is bothering you, accept things you cannot change, and navigate your life.
It is essential to keep your stress levels low, especially in the later years when you may have to deal with health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and more. Moreover, managing stress is vital for leading a happy life. Meditation can help reduce your body’s inflammatory response to stress and allow you to handle more demanding situations calmly.
Learn to Interact with Yourself
You may likely feel set in your ways as you age, which is why it could be difficult for you to accept changes. This is primarily because of your experience and the feeling that you know your way around things. However, distractions in life can make you lose focus on the essentials. Meditation helps you concentrate and learn to appreciate everything.
What Type of Yoga is Ideal for Seniors?
If you are new to yoga, some practical advice and understanding the basics can help you feel confident and comfortable. You can learn it from books, videos, in-person yoga classes, or online sessions. It helps to know that learning from an experienced tutor will ensure you get the most out of yoga with the least possible injury.
The kind of yoga appropriate for you will depend on your age, physical ability, and current fitness. The best way is to start with gentle practice to gain flexibility and muscle tone and move gradually to the advanced courses.
Adaptive Yoga for Seniors
You can do yoga through adaptive practices even if you have limited mobility. Also known as adapted or accessible yoga, it is a style that considers all abilities and bodies. Since it comprises multiple variations adapted to specific needs, it is accessible to everyone. This type of yoga can help you manage arthritis, backache, breathing problems, and many other conditions. You may need different props, such as differently-sized pillows, chairs, blocks, blankets, and more. Chair yoga and therapeutic aqua or water yoga are popular among seniors.
The benefits of adaptive yoga for seniors include:
- It is individualized.
- It is usually taught in smaller groups.
- This style of yoga is slower than traditional practices.
- You will still work up a sweat.
- It can help improve balance and daily functions.
- It can enhance overall well-being.
Whether in a retirement facility or at home, consult your doctor before starting yoga, especially if you are inactive or suffer from any chronic conditions. In addition, if you have glaucoma or spinal disc problems, it is wise to take special care and discuss the poses to avoid with your tutor. Doing so will help prevent injury and give maximum benefit.
Choose Our Independent Living in Hartford for Your Retired Life
The Holiday Retirement is one of the prominent names when it comes to retirement community homes for seniors in Hartford. We aim to make your retired life as enjoyable and stress-free as possible. We offer a host of fun-filled activities, including yoga and spa days, fresh and nutritious dining facilities, and experienced care help to keep our residents happy and healthy. You will feel that you are on a permanent vacation with all the amenities you wished for and more. With companions to mingle with and loving staff to care for you, you will never feel lonely.
Give us a call at 1-860-233-8202 to learn more about yoga and all the fun activities we organize for residents at our retirement residence in West Hartford, Connecticut. Fill our online form to book a tour of our retirement living facility in Hartford.