As we age, we suffer from bone loss, difficulty walking, and balance issues. There are simple ways to combat the effects of aging that will improve our quality of life. Yoga is one of those great ways that help the elderly to reduce osteoporosis risk, age gracefully, and stay active. It is done through different poses that help them minimize balance issues, increase their range of motion, and gain strength and flexibility. Here are some crucial benefits of yoga!
Since yoga is an exercise that requires balance, it can help improve balance. During yoga, older adults strengthen their core and their legs while doing balancing poses. The increase in muscle mass will also add to a greater sense of balance. Research also suggests that the practice of these moves changes neuroanatomy, making them more efficient at maintaining their sense of balance. Yoga works on both sides of the brain, even though only one side is used during a particular pose. The other side will likely be helping to coordinate the movements and keep the posture straight and steady through each pose.
While there are some differences between regular and senior-specific yoga, traditional yoga emphasizes strengthening poses, which is beneficial for aging adults. One of its primary goals is to increase flexibility while strengthening the muscles at the same time. The more flexibility there is, the less likely there will be falls or fractures that could cause significant damage in later years. Stronger muscles improve posture, which improves breathing, which enhances overall health. The elderly don’t necessarily need to do elder-specific yoga if regular classes are available.
Whether it is doing yoga or just stretching, it can help to increase flexibility. Studies show that yoga can help improve flexibility in people of all ages. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, yoga can increase hip and shoulder mobility in older adults. This is excellent news for older adults with arthritis or fibromyalgia because it allows them to manage pain without relying on medications.
Older people are more prone to respiratory problems than younger generations due to physical conditions like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Deep breathing helps with these issues by creating space for air to pass through while also relaxing the muscles around the chest so the elderly can breathe easier while sleeping.
Many yoga poses improve mobility, particularly in the hips, knees, and ankles. Inversions, such as headstands and shoulder stands, can also help aging adults become more limber. The medical journal Physiotherapy says yoga is a beneficial exercise for improving flexibility and strength in physically frail older adults. However, it’s essential to consult the doctor before yoga if there is any preexisting condition or injury. It’s also helpful to seek guidance from a trained instructor who can modify poses based on specific needs.
Range of Motion
As we age, our joints lose their elasticity, and as a result, we can’t move as freely. Fortunately, many poses in yoga require us to move our limbs in ways that help increase mobility. Stretching exercises offered by yoga improve flexibility and range of motion.