Exercise is beneficial for both a healthy mind and a healthy body – especially in your senior years. While many of us are past the stage of running a marathon, low-impact, safe and relaxing exercises are a much-loved past time for many seniors. One exercise that fits this description and is gaining popularity is yoga.
What is Yoga?
Simplified: ‘”yoga” comes from a Sanskrit word meaning “union.” Yoga combines physical exercises, mental meditation, and breathing techniques to strengthen the muscles and relieve stress.’ Yoga incorporates the body, mind and breath through various movements, postures, exercises, relaxation and meditation.
Benefits of yoga for seniors
- Enhanced breathing: strengthening chest muscles and increasing lung capacity.
- Reduced anxiety and stress: enhanced mood by relaxing your mind and body.
- Better sleep: falling asleep faster and generally better sleep quality.
- Improved flexibility: an improved range of motion from by strengthening the muscles around the joints.
These benefits can leave, what many have described as just feeling simply ‘better’.
While there are many types of yoga to choose from, after consulting with your GP, a simple beginner’s class is good place to start. A key consideration will always be your physical condition and your fitness level. Always remember to listen to what your body wants to do and take it easy if you need to.
Another option for those with physical challenges or difficulties is the non-traditional option of Chair Yoga. There are a huge number of poses and stretches that can be done from a chair which will allow you to reap all the benefits of traditional yoga.
Yoga can also be a great social exercise. The social aspect of gathering regularly with other people can be just as beneficial as any type of exercise.
Happy posing and good luck on your yoga journey! If you’d like to learn more about the importance and benefits of stretching for seniors, read our blog here.