Yoga For Seniors: The Mental And Physical Benefits
Yoga is a wonderful way to stay in shape and keep your heart healthy, and it can also help boost your mental health as well. That’s why so many people have turned to yoga over the last few years when they need to focus on their minds and bodies. However, for some seniors, the thought of a new exercise routine—especially one that requires so much physical activity—can be overwhelming and even stressful. If you have health or mobility/balance issues, you might be anxious about performing some of yoga’s stretches or poses.
Fortunately, yoga is very adaptive to just about any lifestyle, and there are many different methods you can use to keep it safe and fun for your specific needs. The key is to take it slow and look for ways you can incorporate yoga into your lifestyle that won’t be intrusive. Ask a friend or loved one to practice some poses with you until you get the hang of it, or look online for a tutorial that will help you.
Keep reading for some great tips on starting yoga as a senior, as well as the benefits.
Boost your gut health
The state of your gut can determine the state of many other bodily functions—from your mental health to maintaining your weight—so it’s important to keep it in good shape. Yoga is a great way to keep all of your systems healthy, and practicing it daily means that you’ll be getting regular physical activity, which can help you feel good all around. It’s a gentle way to keep your body moving and to ensure that everything from your mood to your digestion is in tip-top shape.
We all need time to ourselves once in awhile, time to get away from the stresses of life and recalibrate. Meditation is a wonderful way to take a break and boost your mental health, and it can be done just about anywhere, making it the perfect tool for getting your mind right. Often used in collaboration with yoga, meditation involves mindfulness and focusing on the present—your breathing, soft music, and the way your body feels—rather than thinking about the past or future, which means it can help reduce stress and anxiety.
Adapt it to your lifestyle
Yoga is very adaptable to many lifestyles because it can be practiced just about anywhere and doesn’t require any special equipment. If you have a mat or comfortable place to stretch, you can practice. For seniors who are looking for a safe way to exercise daily, many cities offer yoga classes in the water; you can also use a chair or other stable object to keep your balance while you do the poses.
Check if your covered
Many seniors are unaware of the extra benefits afforded to them through their health insurance. While Original Medicare does not provide coverage for yoga classes or fitness centers, alternative Medicare Advantage plans typically allow access to Silver Sneakers. A Silver Sneakers membership can connect you with senior classes through more than 13,000 wellness centers nationwide. Look to providers like Humana if you think it’s beneficial to change your coverage so you can use this incredible perk.
One of yoga’s fundamental goals is to make sure you can relax your body and mind while strengthening your muscles and protecting joints and bones. You can practice yoga to wind down at the end of a long day or to wake up both physically and mentally in the morning. Yoga can also help you reduce stress and anxiety and the symptoms of depression, and it can even raise your self-esteem. Think about what your specific needs are before you begin a yoga regimen so that you can get the most benefits.
When it comes to daily exercise, yoga is a great way to go for seniors. It’s gentle enough on the body to do every day and can help alleviate certain issues, such as back pain and poor posture. Talk to your doctor to make sure yoga is right for you.