By: Sally Writes
As we get older, certain things that we once took for granted become more and more in focus. Perhaps the most striking example of this is our health and well-being; as we reach our senior years, it becomes ever more important to look after both body and mind in order to maintain a good quality of life.
There are simple measures that can be taken, such as eating healthily, and undertaking regular exercise. In fact there are various activities that can have a huge array of positive effects for seniors, and one of the most effective is yoga.
Senior Yoga- Physical Well Being
There are certain physical effects of ageing that can feel depressingly inevitable: the reduced joint mobility, the stiffening of muscles, and the increased susceptibility to chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. A regular yoga program can help to combat all of these symptoms, and more, by helping to keep muscles supple and joints flexible, as well as improving blood flow which can affect everything from digestion to blood pressure.
There are an enormous range of yoga programs, so that whatever your condition or ability, it is not too late to start. There is chair yoga, where the whole session takes place while sitting down, and exercises for the upper body, neck, hands and wrists that can be done anywhere. If you are a senior still living at home, or with family, then it is well worth finding a local senior yoga group to become a member of. However, if your circumstances are different and you are a resident of a retirement community, then why not ask for or set up a yoga group in your assisted living community? As yoga is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ philosophy, there is a program that can suit everybody’s needs and abilities.
Mental Well Being
It’s not only physically that yoga can help; it has been shown to dramatically improve the mental well being of seniors as well. This is perhaps partially to do with the positive effects of managing physical ailments, but also because the breathing focus of yoga, alongside it’s meditative tranquility, which helps to reduce stress and anxiety. The overall increase in quality of life, both physically and mentally, is what makes yoga unique as an activity.
People are living longer and longer all the time, and it’s necessary to take measures to ensure that the senior years are spent being able to still enjoy life. Yoga is a simple and enjoyable way of fighting back against the advances of time, keeping the mind sharp, and dispensing with the sense of powerlessness that can come with managing chronic physical ailments.