With age comes aches and pains and for some seniors, it can be difficult to participate in physical activity.
But, an excellent, low-impact exercise that improves flexibility, balance, strength, and mood is yoga.
It’s reported that 2.9 million Americans who are 55 years or older participate in this exercise.
With nearly three million older adults practicing yoga, there’s no surprise there are many associated health benefits and in this blog post, we share four of them.
Our bones naturally lose density as we age.
According to American Bone Health, one out of every three women and one out of every five men, globally, over the age of 50, will suffer an osteoporotic fracture which occurs as a result of osteoporosis.
Yoga for seniors has been shown to be effective in slowing bone density loss and alleviating the pain, stiffness, and tenderness associated with conditions like arthritis and osteoporosis.
Weight-bearing postures are especially useful in boosting bone strength for older adults.
Improves Balance & Flexibility
The National Institute of Health reports that 1.6 million older adults go to the emergency room every year for a fall.
These falls can lead to bruises and fractures. One of the most effective ways to combat these injuries is to improve balance and build muscle strength.
Yoga is the perfect option to do just that as many poses focus on balance and stability.
Additionally, the gentle and intentional stretching poses can help improve proprioception which is a person’s sense of position in space as well as their range of motion and flexibility.
Improved balance and flexibility can help seniors feel safe and maintain their sense of independence.
Provides a Mood Boost
Yoga is a restorative form of exercise that provides seniors with an outlet to relax their body and mind while focusing on their breath and the slow, methodical movements of the practice.
The mindful and meditative nature of yoga can alleviate depression, lessen stress, and improve energy.
That’s because yoga has been shown to lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, and increases endorphins, otherwise known as the “feel-good” chemicals in your brain that provide pain-relief and an improved sense of well-being.
Promotes Cardiovascular Health
In addition to the mental health benefits, yoga could lower blood pressure and have positive effects on cardiovascular health.
In fact, Dr. Gloria Yeh, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard, who co-authored a review of clinical research in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology in 2014, found that yoga had a significant impact on cardiometabolic risk factors compared to doing no exercise at all.
The combination of stress reduction and physical activity make yoga a perfect option for seniors to move their bodies and improve their overall health and wellbeing.
In recognition of Healthy Aging Month, CVMG is hosting an Introduction to Senior Yoga Session on Friday, September 18 at 2 p.m. PST.
The hour-long practice will be led by Wendy Bovey, a Master Trainer, and certified yoga instructor skilled at customizing her workouts based on client needs and capabilities.
Join us using this link.