With age, several physiological changes occur in the body. Collectively known as aging, these changes affect every organ and their working, slowing down metabolism. While it is not necessarily indicative of health issues, but it can result in lower energy, stamina, strength and aggravate any existing conditions. With advancing age, it is important to include some physical activity, to counter the effects of aging. Yoga is an excellent exercise for the whole body, mind, and soul and its benefits are endless. Here are some important health benefits of yoga for seniors.
1. Improved Mobility
Degeneration of bone mass and joint functionality with old age leads to mobility, stiffness, osteoporosis, and pain. Yoga poses are designed to stimulate the functions of the bones, muscles, and joints, without too much pressure, thus improving their strength. Seniors can enjoy the gentle, slow, yet highly effective exercise that can even be used to target any specific muscle or joint needing an extra boost, thus improving their functioning.
Flexibility and Mobility are two major benefits of practicing Regular yoga for seniors. It also brings them better balance, and thus, reduces the risks of falls. For those with bone and joint pain issues or poor muscular strength, it can also relieve the discomfort and prevent further damage.
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2. Enhanced Overall Health
Yoga offers the necessary exercise, as well as stimulates the functioning of the organ systems, enhancing the release of hormones, enzymes, and chemicals that are necessary for a healthy metabolism. It also improves the circulation of blood and thus, increasing energy and stamina. Specific yoga poses help reverse the damage of age and boost overall health. Yoga also improves immunity, thus protecting the body against infections and diseases. This is even more important in this Covid-19 pandemic as the seniors are at a higher risk.
3. Better Mental Health
Often the elderly struggle with stress, depression, and other mental health issues. Coping with the loss of youth, lower stamina or health, loneliness, disconnection from the present times and other factors contribute to or aggravate any present mental illnesses. Yoga helps in releasing stress, and anxiety. It also regulates the production of chemicals and hormones that stabilize moods. Attending a yoga class can also offer much-needed community and company.
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4. Sleep Regulation
Stress, pain, poor digestion, and other common age-related issues often affect sleep, which in time, can develop into insomnia. Yoga has excellent restorative properties that help reduce stress, pain, discomfort and bring about sleep. Controlled breathing exercises in yoga, along with Yoga Nidra are particularly useful in promoting sleep. And relieving issues like sleep apnea, nightmares, or irregular sleep patterns. It is a great tool for sleep regulation for seniors who cannot get a lot of activity or hectic exercise.
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5. Delayed Ageing
Age can lead to several degenerative diseases of the body and mind. Not only does yoga improve physical activity, but it also stimulates brain activity, thus delaying the process of degeneration. Yoga poses and breathing exercises make a person work on their cognition and mental coordination. Thus, keep them sharp and active. It enhances brain functions and boosts memory. It can help prevent and slow down the ravages of dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other degenerative diseases, which often affect the elderly.
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Yoga is one of the best activities for seniors because it can be customized and modified to suit their individual needs and capabilities.