So what’s the secret to beginning yoga for seniors and how it promotes longevity? It might seem complicated, but it’s not really. For many seniors’, reaching retirement age seems to indicate that they have earned the right to take it easy.
In reality, that’s exactly the message you do not want to be sent to your body. We are actually the boss of our bodies, and it will always do its best to do what we ask of it. If a senior decides that its time to stop moving and time to rest, their body will be happy to oblige.
Muscles that are no longer being used will atrophy and grow weaker. That includes the heart as it is also a muscle. Why would the body feel the need for the heart to remain strong if there is no need to maintain a strong flow of blood to muscles that are no longer working?
YOGA HELPS SEND THE RIGHT MESSAGE
There is no doubt that if a senior wants to remain healthy well into the golden years it will be necessary to stay physically and mentally active on a regular basis.
That is a far better message to be sent to your body. In essence, you are telling it you are not done yet and that it must remain strong for you. It will do your bidding once is senses the effort on your part.
Beginner Yoga is a great way to send the right message. In one fell swoop, a senior will be easing the impact of tight joints and muscles. Yoga will help improve flexibility, ease low back pain, and improve poor blood circulation. It will also help eliminate sleep problems.
It’s important that seniors approach their beginner yoga classes with caution, and in most cases, your instructor will ensure that seniors’ do this.
It can be expected that seniors’ new to yoga may not be able to hold a pose for as long as they could if they were younger. It’s best for seniors’ to reduce the amount of time they hold a pose to avoid overdoing it.
Even though a younger person might hold a pose for a minute or more, seniors’ can gain strength from holding that same pose for 15 or 20 seconds. You can always repeat the pose. For a senior, holding a pose for three sets of 20 seconds can do as much good as holding the same pose for a full minute.
Another word of caution.
Seniors tend to have very weak wrists. Avoid holding a pose that stresses the wrists for too long.
Many times, all you will see when it comes to yoga is young people twisted like a pretzel. I’m sure this myth that contorting yourself into impossible positions has scared many seniors away from yoga.
As a result, they miss out on the many excellent benefits they can derive by taking beginner classes and finding out what its really about.
Retirement is a perfect time for seniors’ to take the leap into beginner yoga. It’s certainly not the time to stop moving.
To some seniors, it might seem that yoga is a solitary endeavor. Nothing could be further from the truth. By joining a beginner yoga class a senior will find themselves establishing a sense of community. They will form friendships with fellow students and teachers.
There is little doubt that interacting socially has a huge impact on the quality of life and longevity.
BENEFITS OF BEGINNER YOGA
Whether you are young or a senior, the benefits are much the same for both demographics. Muscle to and balance will be improved and balance is critical for seniors’. Finding exercise regimens for seniors’ that will improve balance can lessen the risk of a senior falling.
Swimming is another excellent exercise to improve balance.
Other benefits include improving strength and overall mood. Exercise has always had a way of making people feel good about themselves.
I believe it because exercising in all its forms is a positive experience. Deep down people realize they are doing exactly the right thing.
This feeling of well-being goes a long way toward improving a seniors’ outlook on the years ahead. When they exercise, they know they are giving themselves the best possible chance to live a long and healthy life.
THE BEST KIND OF YOGA FOR YOU
So, how do you get started? What’s the best kind of yoga for you?
Much will depend on your current age as well as your fitness level and physical ability. Not everyone is at the same stage of health and fitness, so it’s important to find the beginner yoga classes that suit you best.
If a senior is exercising for the first time in a long time, chances are they have lost a lot of flexibility and strength. They might consider learning yoga from books and videos and this works well for many seniors, especially those who have trouble getting to yoga classes.
If it all possible, it would be best to attend at least a few beginner classes in order to learn the fundamentals before going it alone. This will help avoid over-doing. However, there are many books and videos out there that will ease seniors’ into yoga.
If a senior is able to attend classes they can check out local senior centers, religious communities, retirement facilities, or even health clubs that may be close at hand. The key is to find the beginner class that will fulfill individual needs.
YOGA FOR LIMITED MOBILITY
If a senior has limited mobility, there is no need to feel that there is no yoga class for them.
On the contrary, many senior yoga classes are there for exactly that purpose. There are two types of yoga to consider if one has limited mobility.
There is a growing number of seniors’ who are discovering chair yoga. Every pose is done with the use of a chair for support. A senior is still able to get all the benefits as far as improved strength, flexibility, and overall conditioning.
Try this Somewhere Over the Rainbow chair yoga on YouTube.
The beauty of water exercises of any nature is that there is no impact on the body. The weightless feeling can make water yoga particularly appealing to some seniors with mobility issues.
The body tends to move easily through the water and it can be very therapeutic. Water can be especially beneficial for seniors’ who suffer from arthritis. As mentioned earlier, any exercise done in water seems to improve a seniors’ overall balance substantially.
The best option might be to check the local YMCA or aquatic center in order to find the perfect water yoga class for you.
No matter what exercise a senior chooses to adopt, its vital to stay active, to stay moving. This is the signal you want to send to your body. You want your body to know that it has to stay strong because you are not done living.
Choosing the best exercise regimen for you is vitally important. It must be something that you love doing as this will vastly improve the results you achieve. This is especially true if you adopt a great diet along with your fitness routine.
Having to force yourself to exercise is never fun. That’s why it’s very important to find an exercise routine that you enjoy. It might be swimming, walking, running, Zumba, or yoga.
Use exercise as an opportunity to not only improve your physical health but also as a way to feel good about yourself and the immense strides you are making toward the quality of life and longevity.
Would you like to share your thoughts on this topic? Feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this page.