For many seniors, finding a way to de-stress and stay healthy is a challenge. You may have physical limitations, or you may be looking for a long-lasting way to boost your mental health, especially if you suffer from anxiety, depression, or loneliness. Some seniors find it difficult to try something new because they don’t drive, making it hard to travel to a gym or class. It can be difficult to stay fit if you’re battling any of these issues, but it’s important to make an effort, for the sake of both your physical and mental health.
Fortunately, there are a couple of ways you can boost your well-being. Yoga and meditation work for both the body and mind, getting your heart rate up gently and leaving you feeling relaxed afterward because it focuses on mindfulness. This means you can direct your mind to think about your breathing and movements rather than worrying about anything else, and it’s a method that many people employ to help reduce feelings of anxiety in the moment.
Keep reading to find out more about yoga for seniors and how to get started.
Improve Your Balance and Stability
Many seniors have mobility or balance issues that can lead to falls and injuries, so it’s crucial to look for a workout that will help you stay safe. Not only is yoga a wonderful exercise because it can be modified for anyone’s needs, but it’s also great for improving one’s balance due to the nature of the stretches and poses. You can use a yoga mat with the aid of a chair if you feel unsteady, or look for a yoga class in the water. Many seniors take advantage of these aqua yoga classes because they feel more comfortable there than on the floor, and it’s a great way to stay social at the same time. While basic Medicare plans don’t cover yoga classes, some Advantage plans, such as those offered by companies like Humana, provide coverage to fitness centers, and many of these facilities offer yoga classes.
Boost Your Mental Health
Whether you suffer from anxiety, stress, loneliness, or mental exhaustion, yoga and meditation can help reduce those feelings so that you can focus on the positive. On the physical side, yoga is perfect for seniors because it incorporates stretches that can be tailored to meet your specific needs. But on the mental side, it’s a great way to release tension and stress so you can focus on the good things in life. Incorporate meditation into your routine in order to bring calm into your day; this works best if you have a quiet room all to yourself.
Attending yoga classes is a wonderful way to meet new people and stay social, which is crucial for many seniors. Maintaining an active social life can help reduce feelings of loneliness, isolation, and depression, and attending classes with like-minded people can help keep you motivated when it comes to working out. Look for a class near you, though you could ask a couple of friends to join you in a workout at home.
Lower Health Risks
Practicing yoga regularly can lower health risks such as hypertension and diabetes and can help you maintain a healthy weight. If you are at high risk for disease due to your lifestyle choices, it’s important to consider all the ways yoga can help you. Of course, certain poses can also help with joint and bone health, an important factor for many seniors as they age.
Yoga can be hugely beneficial for people of any age, but due to the gentle nature of the poses and stretches, it’s a great way for seniors to get in a workout while focusing on their mental health. Talk to your doctor before starting a new routine, especially if you have existing health issues.
Author: Jason Lewis - Strongwell