Yoga for Mental and Physical Fitness
Being physically and mentally active is important at every age, and yoga can be an effective way for seniors to accomplish both in one fell swoop!
There are many great benefits of regular yoga practice, and Fellowship Square offers some tips for seniors to maximize these benefits.
Yoga has been around since ancient times, and today its as popular as ever. Yoga is not only great for seniors because its low impact, it’s an ideal practice to build upon over time — so it’s beneficial for beginners as well as advanced fitness enthusiasts.
One of the most convenient parts about yoga is that it can be practiced anywhere. With some instructional videos, it can be practiced right at home and those that prefer the social aspect of yoga can join a yoga class at a gym or a private studio. And yoga is great for beating workout boredom because there are so many varieties within the practice. Yoga can be gentle enough for beginners or those with joint pain while also being challenging enough for more advanced fitness junkies.
According to an article about yoga on the Harvard Health Publishing website, “Yoga is known for its ability to soothe tension and anxiety in the mind and body. But it can also have an impact on a person's exercise capacity.” For those that are looking to increase their muscle strength, endurance, flexibility, and cardio-respiratory fitness, even if they have been fairly sedentary or have never practiced yoga before, yoga can serve to help them achieve these things. That same article notes that yoga has been proven to have a positive on cardiovascular risk factors — helping lower blood pressure in people with hypertension by way of restoring the body’s “baroreceptor sensitivity,” which helps the body sense imbalances in blood pressure and maintain balance.
There are countless other benefits of doing yoga into the golden years. An article on AARP’s website even breaks the benefits down by decade. People in their 50s, for example, should practice yoga to minimize hypertension, strengthen bones, increase willpower, and shift focus to wellness according to the article. Seniors in their 60s can turn to regular yoga practice to reduce anxiety, protect joints, and build strength and balance; whereas people in their 70s can use yoga to help keep their minds sharp and boost their mood.
Before starting any new exercise program, seniors should speak to their health care provider to get tips on the best plan for them. Fellowship Square encourages all seniors to take control of their health and fitness (and their mental state) with regular yoga practice.