8 Ways Yoga Can Benefit Seniors
To improve their health, flexibility, and sleep, many people opt for yoga as a way to relax, reduce stress, and gain some extra energy. Some senior citizens, however, wonder whether they will benefit in similar ways if they start yoga. Luckily, there are several ways yoga can benefit seniors.
Yoga can benefit seniors by reducing their blood pressure, improving their balance, increasing their flexibility, and strengthening their bones. Yoga can also help seniors to stay active and healthy. It may help with certain health issues and allow seniors to stay fit.
Here, we will talk about 8 ways in which yoga can benefit seniors. We will mention how these benefits relate to yoga and how seniors can reduce stress by starting yoga.
1. Reduces Blood Pressure
Practicing yoga every day allows seniors to reduce their blood pressure without exerting themselves too much. Many seniors diagnosed with hypertension have admitted that practicing yoga acts as a therapy for high blood pressure and allows them to remain healthy.
Hypertension, caused by high blood pressure, can cause diseases such as kidney disease and cardiovascular disease and a leading cause of high blood pressure is oxidative stress. Yoga helps seniors reduce this stress, thus reducing their blood pressure. This is necessary for seniors to stay healthy!
2. Improves Balance
Practicing yoga helps seniors improve their balance. Yoga movements are often challenging and require stability and balance. When seniors practice these moves, they improve their sense of balance. Since our balance gets worse as we grow older, it can have special benefits for seniors!
An improved sense of balance also prevents injuries at old age. Most seniors get injured by falling. So, having a good sense of balance can allow seniors to minimize falling risks and avoid injury. Yoga allows for greater mobility, which helps seniors move around easily.
3. Improves Flexibility
Performing yoga helps improve flexibility. Since yoga moves require a bit of stretching, it can help seniors become more flexible with time.
A key reason seniors should be flexible is to make their joints supple. If a senior’s joints ache too much, increased flexibility reduces the pain. Flexibility allows for more motion in the body and improves the blood flow of seniors.
When practicing yoga, seniors should focus on body parts such as the hips, shoulders, and neck. One way to improve flexibility through yoga is to practice yin or restorative yoga.
As practicing yoga increases flexibility, seniors can stay comfortable and healthy by starting it.
4. Strengthens Bones
Performing weight-lifting yoga moves helps strengthen bones. Practicing yoga helps improve bone mass and density, making seniors stronger.
So, having stronger bones could prevent osteoporosis and solves the problem of brittle bones.
Yoga helps benefit seniors by increasing their strength. To ensure stronger bones by practicing yoga, seniors should maintain a regular and constant yoga routine and stick to it.
Yoga is also a great activity to do with your loved ones! If you don't live near each other, you can use video calling features on apps like Ohana to have a virtual yoga session.
5. Reduces Stress
Yoga helps seniors reduce stress by allowing them to achieve a sense of escape. While practicing yoga, seniors focus on their breathing, keeping their mind on the present, and entering a state of relaxation and calm. Research has proven that yoga moves help lower cortisol levels in the body, thus reducing stress.
Since yoga takes some stress out of the body, it can also reduce hypertension due to stress. Yoga also reduces anxiety and depression as it improves breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure.
6. Increases Mindfulness
Yoga also helps seniors become more self-aware and mindful. This is because, during yoga, seniors focus on their breathing and themselves. They take the time to pay attention to their thoughts which improves mindfulness.
Mindfulness improves the connection of seniors to others and themselves. It allows them to find new meanings to their lives, to feel less lonely, and to feel as if they have increased control over their lives.
Some seniors may see a fall in their self-esteem as they grow older. Mindfulness, created by yoga, can help them feel more confident about themselves.
7. Increases Respiration
Certain yoga moves can enhance your breathing by expanding your lung capacity. Studies and research have proven that breathing exercises help improve respiration and pulmonary health.
As people get older, they become more vulnerable to breathing problems and see deterioration in their health. An oxygen reduction can harm the minds and bodies of seniors, so they should avoid everything that reduces oxygen. Practicing yoga involves deep breathing, which sends oxygen through the bodies of seniors.
8. Improves Digestion
Yoga can improve digestion, too. As mentioned, yoga facilitates deep breathing. This deep breathing also improves blood circulation in the body, which helps to improve digestion. Yoga is a way for seniors to exercise enough to boost blood circulation but not so much that they exert themselves.
When, during yoga, seniors meditate, they calm the mind. The digestive tract requires that to function properly. So, when a senior is in a state of relaxation and calm, the digestive tract can function, allowing for a better digestive system.
For this to occur, seniors must regularly meditate, prompting the “rest and digest” response in their bodies. In this way, yoga benefits seniors by improving their digestion.
For seniors who want to remain healthy and avoid injuries, yoga is a good option. Starting yoga can improve their balance, flexibility, and digestion. It can reduce their blood pressure and increase respiration. All of these things allow the senior to function comfortably. Yoga can also have a positive impact on the minds of seniors through reduced stress and increased mindfulness.
We think that the most significant benefit of yoga is the increased balance. Falling is the leading cause of injuries and accidents of seniors, and balance helps prevent them. In this case, yoga improves safety.