For most older adults, aging comes with inevitable health problems. Issues like aching backs, stiff joints, and reduced energy are just some of the problems facing older adults, on top of potential concerns over obesity, heart disease, and mental health issues. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways for older adults to better manage and even improve their overall well-being. A combination of routine medical care, healthy eating, and exercise can definitely help older adults get back on track with their health. Yoga offers a great way for older adults to get moving and improve senior health while also practicing mindfulness. Here are some yoga poses that you can try:
- Upward Salute: Eases back stiffness and pain
- Tree Pose: Improves coordination and balance
- Child’s Pose: Supports digestion
- Hero Pose: Improves good circulation
- Mountain Pose: Reduces anxiety and stress
- Savasana: Promotes relaxation and comfort
- Seated Spinal Twist: For those with mobility issues
Benefits of Yoga for Older Adults
Doing yoga can help older adults combat various health struggles including poor balance, osteoarthritis, stress, and pain.
Improved Mobility and Joint Health
A study has found that yoga can help older adults to significantly reduce pain after just a period of eight weeks of regular practice. Additionally, older adults can expect to enjoy an improved quality of sleep after each yoga session. For older adults with painful or stiff joints as well as poor flexibility, doing yoga can help improve their mobility, strengthen muscles, relieve pain, and prevent future injury.
Lowered Blood Pressure
For those with hypertension or high blood pressure, their risk of stroke, heart failure, and kidney disease rises. An underlying cause of hypertension known as oxidative stress is an imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals found in the body. For older adults who practice yoga, they can lower this imbalance.
Better Pulmonary Function
Deep breathing is a crucial part of yoga. For older adults suffering from respiratory problems like asthma and others, yoga can help to improve the quality of their respiration process. With healthy lungs, older adults can maintain good overall health.
Improved Mental Health
According to current data, roughly 20% of older adults aged 55 years old and over live with some form of mental health issue. The most common concerns include depression and anxiety which are often caused by senior isolation. Research has shown that yoga can have a positive overall impact on both mental health and mood. Practicing yoga for just four weeks is already enough to alleviate the symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety for some individuals.
Insomnia is common amongst older adults. It can have an adverse impact on their quality of life and other health issues such as anxiety, depression, and heart disease. Research suggests that practicing yoga for the long term can help older adults improve their quality of life and the quality of their sleep. Yoga will clear their mind and ward off daily stressors which prevent them from getting a good night’s sleep. They will also get to practice mindfulness which helps them maintain good mental health.