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  • Harry Cline

7 Reasons Seniors Should Do Yoga

Updated: Jun 24, 2019

Photo credit: Unsplash

It seems yoga is everywhere these days. As Forbes notes, yoga’s popularity has been exploding in recent years. Of all the bandwagons to jump on, yoga’s a pretty good one. It improves balance and cardiovascular health, so you’ll have greater mobility, flexibility, and overall health. Here are a few more reasons why seniors should practice yoga.

1. Accessibility

Yoga isn’t just for the super young and ridiculously flexible. It’s for people of all ages and abilities. Classes designed for seniors will often feature extra modifications and options to make yoga easier and more comfortable. An aerobic form of the practice can also be tailored to be your ideal workout.

Yoga is also easily accessible from a financial and practical perspective. From YMCAs to local yoga studios, there is probably a yoga class right around the corner from you. Classes are offered at a variety of times, and are typically inexpensive to attend. In fact, if you have a Medicare Advantage plan by a provider like UnitedHealthcare, yoga classes may be covered by your insurance.

2. Meditation calms your mind

Reports suggest that yoga and meditation are two of the most popular alternative therapies recommended by some health professionals. Yoga itself is a meditative act. You concentrate on the poses you do and focus on breathing properly. You can set up a yoga and meditation haven at your own home. Find a space, clear it of clutter, and use it for both practices regularly to reap their benefits on an ongoing basis.

3. It’s good for the heart

Your cardiovascular health will also improve with yoga, given its elements of strength training and unusual poses. Yoga isn’t only good for the heart; it can also help with stress, lower cholesterol, and improve BMI. This is best if you choose a yoga that is suited to your needs and to your circumstances.

4. Gives you better balance

Research has shown that yoga is good for balance, especially in older adults. If you find yourself struggling with the balance you used to have when you were younger, yoga can help you find it again. Many balancing poses, such as tree pose, are designed to help you push your body in a safe, controlled way, and maintain control of your core and breath. You’ll be able to gain more strength in your limbs and be more balanced overall.

5. Good for digestion

There are lots of gentle poses that anyone can do that help with stomach discomfort. Do these poses on an empty stomach to help with blood flow. Your muscles will move around in a massaging pattern, which can actually lead to a healthier gut and aid digestion. Also keep in mind that regular exercise helps lower stress, which in turn can keep your gut in balance.

6. Joint health

Conditions such as arthritis can stiffen and limit your joints, and yoga can increase joint mobility in a healthy way. If you practice yoga at your own comfort and ability level, you’ll experience the benefits on your joints in a safe way.

7. Social benefits

Research has shown that yoga can not only provide substantial physical benefits to seniors, but it can also improve their overall social well-being. If you take a class designed for seniors, you’ll meet peers who you share common ground with. You can also go to yoga classes designed for all ages to meet friends from all walks of life. It’s both a personal and a group exercise, which makes yoga particularly special.

If you’re now convinced you need to try yoga, seek out a class that will meet your needs. The National Institute on Aging recommends finding an instructor who is attentive to the unique needs of older adults and has solid training. A good instructor can make your experience a good one, which will allow yoga to bring a lot of meaning to your life and keep you healthy.

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