Yoga Can Benefit Seniors

elderly-yoga-300x205.jpgAs many aging parents already know, yoga is often recommended as one of the best ways to exercise and stay physically active as one gets older. The very best way that aging parents, spouses, and other seniors can take advantage of yoga is to enroll in a yoga class taught by a trained professional. It's even better when the class is one that is geared toward seniors.

Sometimes, however, it's difficult to get out to a class, or there may not be one offered that fits conveniently in a person's schedule. In these instances, seniors may consider buying or renting a DVD or video, borrowing one from the library, or watching an online video of yoga exercises for seniors. One of the benefits of using a DVD or video is that an individual can stop and rewind as necessary in order to better see how a pose is modeled or to better understand instructions offered by the teacher.

For those with video game consoles, many gaming systems also offer yoga-based options among their exercise components, and this is another route to consider.

Needless to say, it's a good idea to check with one's doctor before embarking on a new yoga regimen — just to be safe.


So what are some of the benefits for aging parents that are associated with yoga?

Low impact activity. Yoga is especially recommended for older adults because it enables them to engage in a physical activity that does not put as much strain on the body as sports, jogging, or working out at the gym.

Bone health. Problems associated with aging bones are a big issue for many seniors, so exercises that can increase bone strength and durability are always welcome. Regular practice of yoga is associated with helping to maintain bone density; some studies have shown that some individuals who are regular yoga practitioners may even have increased bone density.

Balance. Many people who engage in yoga consistently find that it helps improve their balance. Since falls are a major concern for many older individuals, finding ways to secure balance can have significant benefits.

Range of motion. Because yoga gently encourages a person to stretch and engage with different parts of the body, it helps to increase flexibility and range of motion.

Mental sharpness. The more physically active an individual is, the sharper their brain function tends to be. Yoga is especially good for this, as it combines oxygenating physical work with deep breaths, centering and focusing on stress relief. When stress is lessened, the mind is better able to focus and function.

Aging parents who have never tried yoga may want to give it a go. Aside from the other benefits listed, a class can also be an excellent way to socialize and meet people.

Related Article
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