A regular exercise routine can improve your quality of life and help you maintain your independence. However, many older adults struggle to find a safe, low-impact exercise that fits within their fitness levels. Luckily, yoga for seniors offers a viable solution.
Yoga is an exercise you can do all your life. It’s low-impact nature makes it suitable for those with joint pain, osteoporosis, or limited mobility. Plus, yoga poses can easily be modified to fit your comfort level and physical ability, making it a wonderful exercise for any age group.
Below, we share the health benefits of yoga, some gentle yoga poses suitable for seniors, and how to begin a regular yoga routine. Please note: This article is meant for informational purposes only, and should not be taken as medical advice. Before beginning any fitness routine, please work directly with your physical therapist or physician.
The Health Benefits of Yoga for Seniors
Studies show yoga benefits your physical, mental, and emotional health. These widespread benefits are particularly valuable as you age.
Yoga Benefits Your Mental Health
According to the NIH, yoga can benefit your mind as much as your body. Studies show practicing yoga causes decreased depression, stress, anxiety, and cortisol levels, and increased feelings of hope over time.
Taking care of your mental health is important at any age. However, the risks associated with mental health struggles increase as you grow older. Those who suffer from heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke, have an increased risk of suffering from depression. In addition, depression can complicate the treatment of these conditions, making treatment more difficult.
Yoga Improves Your Physical Health
Yoga is a safe and effective way to increase strength, balance, and flexibility. In addition, some studies show yoga can help you lose weight, prevent chronic health issues, and sleep more soundly.
According to the NIH, you lose range of motion (mobility) in your joints, strength, balance, and flexibility as you age. This puts you at greater risk of developing osteoarthritis, low back pain, and curvature of the spine, and increases your risk of falling. By developing a regular yoga practice, you increase muscle mass often lost due to aging, improve your posture, and strengthen your balance, thereby reducing your risk of falls.