Yoga for Seniors: The Fountain of Youth?

What if there was a way for your loved one to turn back the hands of time without having to take any drugs or go through extensive surgery? Many believe that is exactly what yoga can do for the older generation. Whether you are caring for a family member or a friend, you surely want them getting the recommended physical activity that can help them:

  • Be more agile
  • Stave away serious illnesses
  • Keep their stress levels low

With yoga, your loved one can gain all of the benefits that intense cardiovascular exercise can provide without having to worry about it wearing down their joints. The reasons to get your loved one involved in yoga are many.

Yoga for Seniors: Fountain of Youth?

Increase Balance and Flexibility

Perhaps your loved one has already suffered an injury from a fall, and if not, you have undoubtedly heard of someone who has. When people age they lose flexibility, making it harder to move their bodies appropriately.

While one fall itself may not seem like much, it is often enough to start a downward spiral of health issues, sometimes even leading to death. Yoga focuses on both strengthening and stretching the muscles, making completing activities of daily living easier.

Prevent or Slow Down Bone Loss

Losing bone mass is an inherent part of aging, but it can still be slowed down by staying active. Unlike other forms of exercise, yoga is ideal for seniors because it allows them to get a strength-training workout without intense pressure being put on the bones and joints.

Decrease Stress and Improve Mood

A happy state of wellbeing may take place in the mind, but it is reliant on the state of the body. When seniors are active, their body works better. It does what they want it to do, and they don’t have to spend as much time being miserable about what aging is doing to them.

Words of Caution

While yoga may seem like the perfect way to delay the effects of aging, there are a few things to keep in mind before you search out a local health club (YMCA) or senior center for yoga classes:

  • Avoid classes with mixed ages. It is important to start your loved one out with either individual classes or ones that are strictly for seniors. Otherwise, it can be tempting for them to overdue it trying to keep pace with the younger folk.
  • Make adjustments. All seniors should make slower transitions and hold poses for shorter amounts of time. In addition, specific conditions, such as high blood pressure, sciatica and glaucoma, may require further modifications.
  • Not for patients with dementia/Alzheimer’s. Yoga is an activity that definitely takes practice to perfect. Because of the specific breathing techniques and detailed poses, yoga may not be a good fit for someone suffering from memory-reducing conditions.
  • Always consult a doctor. It is important to keep in mind that no matter how healthy your loved one seems you should always talk to their doctor before starting a new exercise program.
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