Yoga Is Adaptable For Seniors
About half of Americans over the age of 65 have a disability related to hearing, vision, or walking. More than 87% of seniors take at least one prescription drug and nearly 60% take 3 or more.
All of these can affect balance and the ability to understand or work through complex steps. It is important to find a yoga instructor who is familiar with some of the challenges of older adults.
A certified yoga instructor should be familiar with adaptations to the traditional poses and attentive enough to step in to guide your loved one through these adaptations. Classes that are set up with a competitive feel may not be appropriate for someone who needs the extra attention.
Yoga can be adapted even to students who are chair-bound, with a variety of spine and hip strengthening exercises taking place in a seated position. As your loved one gains strength, the chair can become a stabilizing prop for leg and ankle poses as well.
The Benefits Of Yoga For Older Women
Yoga might seem like a trendy type of exercise for young people, but it is actually a remarkably effective workout for seniors as well. In particular, yoga for women over 60 has a variety of positive benefits for mind, body and soul. Yoga for seniors can help to reduce certain chronic health symptoms, can improve balance and flexibility and can also provide a positive form of relief from stress and anxiety.
While yoga may seem new to some, it has actually been around for thousands of years. The practice of yoga originated in ancient India, and was adopted as a philosophical and spiritual practice by schools of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Yoga made its way to the western world by the middle of the nineteenth century and by the middle of the twentieth century, it had entered into the mainstream thanks to the counterculture movement of the 1960s. By the 1980s, yoga had become a recognized form of exercise in America and the industry seemed to explode in 2001.
There is a reason why yoga has survived all these years: the benefits of yoga cannot be denied. In fact, many of them have been proven by science. Here are a few of the particular perks of yoga for women over 60:
Chair Yoga For Seniors
If your mobility is limited, you can still get the benefits of yoga while sitting in a chair. In most cases, chair yoga is gentle and good for seniors who may be new to the activity.
During chair yoga for seniors, poses are done while seated comfortably in a chair. Or, you may use the chair for support during standing poses. You can choose how much you use the chair depending on your body and mobility. With time and regular practice, you may find that you need the chair than when you began!
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Yoga Is An Excellent Way For Seniors To Boost Their Health And Quality Of Life Find Out The Benefits And Follow These Tips To Try Downward Dog Whether Youre 60 Or 90
Senior yoga is a restorative yoga class designed especially for people over 60 to keep their minds and bodies strong.
Its important for older adults to stay active and incorporate strength training classes like yoga. The weight bearing postures, like side planks as practiced in yoga, build strength while reducing seniors risk of osteoporosis and of falling.
Some benefits for seniors include:
- Improve balance and stability
- Improve flexibility and joint health
- Improve lung capacity and respiration
- Increases muscle tone and bone density
- Regular practice can reduce high blood pressure
Attending senior yoga is not only a good way for seniors to manage some health conditions but also to cultivate accountability partners and even friendships. Senior yoga classes are a great place for seniors to meet like-minded neighbors. Classes can support seniors in managing the emotional and physical aspects of retirement. This senior social opportunity seems to motivate our senior students to come to class and actively pursue their wellness.
Tips for Seniors Who Want to Try Yoga:
1. No flexibility, no problem! You dont have to be flexible to practice yoga. With regular practice, students tend to become more flexible over time. The more that tight muscles get stretched, the looser and more flexible they can become.
Where to Find a Senior Yoga Class?
Is Yoga Appropriate For Seniors
In most cases, seniors can absolutely do yoga. Many people with hectic schedules only find the time for activities like yoga in retirement. Though the tendency is to become more sedentary, retirement is the perfect time to pick up healthy habits that can promote longevity.
Attending a yoga class regularly also establishes a sense of community and friendship with teachers and fellow students. These types of social connections have been shown to be surprisingly important for maintaining health and well-being as we age.
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Boosting Joint Health And Flexibility
Regular exercise, combined with a nutritious and balanced diet, is the key to remaining physically and mentally fit during your golden years. It aids in the prevention of health conditions like arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, depression, and so on. Being active also helps you lead an independent life. Exercise can be as simple as taking a walk, doing yoga, or participating in a fitness class. It is advisable to incorporate weight training, balancing, or aerobic exercises into your regular routine.
How To Practice Yoga As A Senior
Yoga for seniors can be performed in a chair. Or, you can try practicing in the open air, if you feel confident in your balance and stability.
Yoga can be practiced anywhere, anytime. When you practice with other yoga students, youll also reap the rewards of participating in a community experience.
Feling connected to a community has been demonstrated to increase overall mental and physical health.
The breathing and meditation aspects of yoga are especially empowering. Breathing practices help oxygenate the body and brain. Meditation is a great stress reducer.
Together they multiply the health benefits of yoga to include pain relief, mental clarity, and a feeling of empowerment and independence.
Watch the video and learn what others have experienced when they practice yoga.
Youre invited to join a community of yoga students of all ages in the online program Zenward:
What helps you feel young and energized? Have you ever practiced yoga before?
Let us know your thoughts below.
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Healing Benefits Of Yoga For Seniors
If you thought that youre too old to do yoga, think again. Yoga is ageless and reaches millions of people of all ages, walks of life, and body types.
Even if youve suffered from ailments such as arthritis or broken bones, there are yoga exercises for seniors that is compatible with your body type.
The main thing to keep in mind when youre starting to do yoga is to start slow and practice the most basic poses.
When you start mastering the basic yoga poses such as childs pose, downward dog, and cat-cow, you will begin to feel the the following benefits of yoga:
Reasons To Practice Yoga In Your 60s
1. Reduce anxiety
Yoga induces the relaxation response, an alpha state between awake and asleep that helps modulate the way the body responds to stress. When faced with a potential threat , your heart beats faster, your muscles tense and you start to sweat. Yoga stops this process in its tracks, reducing your heart rate, lowering blood pressure and easing respiration. Case in point: A 2015 study published in the Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine reported that women who participated in a 60-minute yoga class twice a week reported greater reductions in anxiety after the 8-week study period compared to those who didnt participate.
2. Protect your joints
During your late 50s and early 60s, you may begin to notice that your joints aren’t as fluid as they used to be. Practicing yoga regularly can help lubricate joints, staving off debilitating disorders like carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis. “It’s important to start caring for your joints, to help maintain your independence and preserve your ability to perform daily activities as you get older things like brushing your teeth, combing your hair, getting dressed,” says Wheeler. Yin yoga, a type of practice where poses are held for up to 20 minutes, may be especially beneficial for lubricating and nourishing the joints.
3. Build strength and balance
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Yoga Benefits Heart Health
Regular yoga practice may reduce levels of stress and body-wide inflammation, contributing to healthier hearts. Several of the factors contributing to heart disease, including high blood pressure and excess weight, can also be addressed through yoga.Try it: Downward Dog PoseGet on all fours, then tuck your toes under and bring your sitting bones up, so that you make a triangle shape. Keep a slight bend in your knees, while lengthening your spine and tailbone.
Copd Chronic Bronchitis And Emphysema
Problem: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , chronic bronchitis, and emphysema make breathing very challenging and limit your ability to do cardiovascular activities.How yoga can help: Yoga is low impact. For this reason, it is a useful movement practice if you have COPD or similar respiratory problems. Additionally, a yoga practice often has pranayama, or breath practices. Focusing on inhaling and exhaling can be useful if you have a chronic breathing problem, since breathing exercises can potentially help strengthen muscles used in respiration. Time spent in mindful breathing can also help you have more awareness of your breath noticing when you get breathless or when you feel short of breath can help you seek treatment quickly.
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Health Benefits Of Yoga For Seniors
If someone invites you to a yoga class it may conjure images of ultra-flexible people doing back bends, but the average yoga class is far from that stereotype. At your local yoga studio or fitness center, youll find many beginners who enjoy practicing in a calm, supportive environment. Millions of people have discovered the mental and physical benefits of yoga, and for seniors, a regular yoga practice can reduce anxiety, improve flexibility, reduce high blood pressure and improve stability. Perhaps the best thing about yoga is that people of all ages and abilities can participate, and everyone can go at their own pace. If you or a loved one are still on the fence about giving yoga a try, our senior health teams have put together a list of the three biggest health benefits of yoga for seniors that might change your mind.
Yoga For Better Sleep
Physiological changes that occur as a result of the aging process have an impact on sleep quality. Without proper diagnosis and treatment, insomnia in older persons can lead to impaired function and have a significant negative impact on their quality of life. Because of the effect of sleep deprivation on cognitive function, sleep disorders like insomnia increase the risk of falls and other accidents leading to injuries.
Poor sleep quality also affects mood and emotional regulation, increasing the likelihood of developing symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Various medications, such as benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepines, are available to treat sleep-related issues pharmacologically, but they come with unwanted side effects, especially in older patients.
As a result, any non-pharmacological form of therapy that can reduce sleep disturbances and their effects is seen as a valuable tool. Yoga is regarded as one such non-pharmacological form of therapy.
Research indicates that older adults who practice yoga on a regular basis have better overall sleep quality, fewer episodes of disrupted sleep, take less time to fall asleep, have less daytime dysfunction, use fewer sleep medications, and feel more refreshed and energized in the morning.
One study from 2005 with 120 participants found that practicing yoga reduced the time it took for participants to fall asleep by an average of 10 minutes and extended the duration of their sleep by an average of one hour.
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Yoga Can Keep The Mind Sharp And Focused
Exercising the mind is just as important as exercising the body, especially in seniors. The simple meditation that yoga practices helps individuals stay centered, energized and relieve stress. It’s even shown to improve moods. By focusing on your thoughts and feelings in addition to your body, you’ll achieve a more overall awareness of self through the practice. Yoga is also shown to help fight feelings of depression, which is very common among seniors.
As you’ve read, yoga can work physical and psychological wonders for the aging population. By incorporating a regular yoga routine, seniors can experience an improvement in their quality of life that can go a long way toward physical and mental health and overall wellness.
Regular yoga and other fitness classes are is available at many Acts communities! Read more about how the Acts Lifestyle can help you achieve a healthy and fulfilling retirement.
Yoga Helps With Back Pain Relief
Yoga is as good as basic stretching for easing pain and improving mobility in people with lower back pain. The American College of Physicians recommends yoga as a first-line treatment for chronic low back pain.Try it: Cat-Cow PoseGet on all fours, placing your palms underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips. First, inhale, as you let your stomach drop down toward the floor. Then, exhale, as you draw your navel toward your spine, arching your spine like a cat stretching.
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Yoga Classes At Senior Communities In New Jersey
In addition to the benefits discussed above, yoga can improve your posture, help reduce anxiety, lessen lower back pain, and unlock the power of meditation. Most yoga instructors will guide you through a short meditation session with controlled breathing at the beginning and end of each class, which gives you a chance to unwind and focus on your practice.
Staying active during your senior years is important, and yoga is an excellent activity for people of all abilities. For more information about the senior fitness classes we offer residents at all of our full-service assisted living communities, please contact the team at UMC today. You could also visit our website to learn more about how we prioritize senior health and fitness here:
A Closer Look At Some Basic Chair Yoga Exercises
Here are some basic exercises, including warm-ups that promote flexibility and strength:
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Butterfly Pose Baddha Konasana
Buddh Konasana is a very simple yoga posture, anyone can do it. It is a good posture for beginners in yoga. Senior citizens can expect to see this pose often in their yoga routine.
Baddha KonasanaBenefits For Seniors:
The practice of Buddha Konasana is very easy. A person of any age can do this easily. It gives a good stretch to the inner thighs and groin. It gives a good stretch to the hips, legs, ankles, and knees. This asana eliminates blockage in our mid-body and increases blood circulation. By practicing this, the hips get a good massage from both sides.
How to do
- Sit on the ground in a Cross-legged position.
- Now bend your feet from the knees and join the soles of your feet together.
- At this time, your heels should be close to your pelvic area.
- Try to gently lower your knees to the ground.
- Tilt the upper body forward and place your forehead on the floor.
- Stay in this posture for a while.
Yoga And Fall Prevention
Due to the natural effects of aging, older adults are at a higher risk for falling than younger people. Each year, one out of every three seniors experiences a fall, and 50% of those have more than one fall. Unfortunately, falls can result in hospitalization and harmful complications such as pressure ulcers, muscle damage and dehydration without prompt medical help. Taking steps to prevent falls should be a priority for all older adults.
Seniors Yoga is an excellent way to reduce your risk of falling. Its slow, measured movements, strengthening poses and focused breathing help you improve your balance, flexibility, stability and strength as well as giving you a sense of well-being and enhanced quality of life.
Read our Fall Prevention Guide for more tips and resources to help you prevent falls from occurring.
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Reasons To Practice Yoga In Your 50s
1. Minimize hypertension
“Yoga has a powerful effect on stress and hypertension and can help people reduce the amount of medication they need,” says Amy Wheeler, yoga professor at California State University at San Bernardino. In a review of 17 studies published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, researchers reported significant reductions in blood pressure for interventions incorporating three basic elements of yoga practice: postures, meditation, and breathing. Researchers speculate that the slow, controlled breathing inherent in yoga practice decreases nervous system activity, which helps manage blood pressure levels.
2. Strengthen bones
“People in their 50s often develop the beginning stages of osteoporosis and low bone density,” notes Melinda Atkins, a yoga teacher in Miami. Studies consistently show that the weight-bearing activity of yoga helps slow bone thinning, reducing the risks of osteoporosis, particularly among postmenopausal women.3. Keep excess pounds at bay