Yoga can have beneficial effects on seniors.
According to the American Senior Fitness Association (SFA), many American seniors follow the conventional wisdom as they age and move less when what they really need is to move more.
As seniors age, they become more susceptible to certain conditions that give them excuses to slow down.
Although many seniors believe they should “take it easy” as they grow older, taking it easy is exactly what seniors shouldn’t do, according to the SFA.
The evidence seems to bear that out. Being too sedentary can lead to shortening and weakening of muscles, joint deterioration and loss of flexibility, arthritis, osteoporosis, poor circulation, chronic pain, and a host of other age-related health conditions.
Yoga is gaining acceptance in some medical circles as a useful tool in helping combat some of these conditions, and the movements associated with yoga can help restore flexibility and range of movement while helping reduce pain and improve sleep patterns. Studies also suggest that regular practice of yoga can help reduce negative effects of asthma and diabetes, and can help reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol.
Equally important, perhaps, is evidence suggesting that yoga can help seniors reduce stress.
Stress isn’t an entirely negative thing, of course, because, channeled in a positive way, it can help motivate you to get things done. But the fact is, stress is often channeled in a negative manner, bringing a lot of worry to people who experience it.
Stress is a leading cause of senior visits to the doctor, and a major contributor to many conditions including heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, asthma, and accelerated aging. The more seniors age, the more susceptible they are to these and other stress-related conditions. Any technique that can help reduce stress and the likelihood of developing conditions it can cause ought to be on any senior’s radar, and yoga, with its emphasis on deep breathing and relaxation techniques along with gentle stretching movements, ought to be considered as a valuable component of your senior health regimen.
In combination with regular senior workouts and a sensible, low-fat, low-sugar senior diet, yoga may be just what you need to stay away from the doctor except during your annual checkups. Along with senior cardio training and a strong and steady senior fitness program, yoga may help you shed negative, debilitating stress and allow you to reap the full benefits of working out and living sensibly.
It’s important to keep an open mind.
The evidence certainly seems to suggest that practicing yoga regularly can lead to stress relief, greater flexibility and easier movement, and a big reduction in senior health care costs. Along with your Medicare supplement or Medicare Advantage coverage and a good overall senior fitness program, joining a yoga class may be a great investment for your health and future.
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