Posted May 31, 2012

I am pleased to share an article from Pamela Ravenwood of the Dahn Yoga Center.  Use this link to find a local center and continue reading her article to get even more motivated to try yoga if you haven’t yet.

 

The benefits of yoga for seniors

Pamela Ravenwood Internet Marketing Manager, BR Consulting/Dahn Yoga

Yoga can be a fun, beneficial exercise for just about anyone, but seniors may have the most to gain. The health effects of the ancient exercise practice are particularly targeted to the needs of seniors. Best of all, yoga is one of the easiest exercises for older individuals.

One of the most profound health effects of yoga is increased flexibility. The regimen involves specialized stretching positions that result in a more limber body. This is particularly important for seniors because most people tend to lose flexibility as they age.

Maintaining range of motion is critical, as stiff joints may increase the risk of falls and broken bones, a problem that is very common among older individuals. People who break hips are known to have low quality of life and high mortality rates. However, improving flexibility can help prevent falls and enable individuals to avoid these problems.

Major support for heart health

Yoga can also support cardiovascular health in seniors. Heart attacks and strokes are among the leading causes of death, and they are particularly common among people over the age of 65. As a natural part of the aging process, the arteries start to stiffen, making them less responsive to changes in blood flow. This leads to high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.

However, yoga helps seniors avoid the complications that result from hypertension. Numerous studies have shown that people who practice yoga on a regular basis are able to lower their blood pressure. The exercise forces individuals to focus on their breathing, which lead to a calm state of mind. This helps to slow the heart rate and reduce pressure in the arteries.

The perfect exercise for seniors

Older adults may have a difficult time going out for jogs or participating in competitive sports due to various health issues. However, yoga is less physically demanding than these other activities. This makes it accessible for just about anyone, regardless of their physical condition. Many senior centers offer classes that are specifically geared toward the needs of older adults and some studios even have sessions for seniors.

It is very important for people to stay physically active as they grow older. Exercise plays an important role in maintaining healthy joint function, particularly in those who have arthritis. However, because joint pain makes it hard to move, many people become sedentary.

Yoga can help people stay active without taxing their joints too much. This makes it one of the best ways to respond to age-related health problems like arthritis.

Seniors should not assume that they are not in good enough physical shape to exercise. Yoga makes physical activity much easier for those who have limited mobility and addresses some of the most common health problems experienced by older adults. This makes yoga a perfect exercise for seniors.

Dahn Yoga is one of the largest yoga and tai chi companies in the world with its own unique style and brand of yoga. It is rooted in the rich history of an ancient Asian mind-body practice, Sun Do, and in the wisdom of the Chun Bu Kyung.

 

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