Growing older brings you gifts of wisdom, experience and maturity, to name a few, but also several challenges, the biggest of which is to your body. Physically, it becomes harder to keep extra weight off, and the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases also increase with age. You may also face joint stress and osteoarthritis as you get older.
Healthy eating and exercise can assist in preventing disease, injuring and keeping your body in good physical shape, and brain training exercises can keep your mind sharp. Yoga can also provide a number of health benefits for women over 50s health, and older adults who struggle with pain, joint problems, imbalance, osteoarthritis and other physical impairments can benefit from doing a daily yoga routine.
Balance and Stability Benefits
Many yoga moves help to increase a person's balance and stability, both of which can deteriorate during the ageing process. Strengthening your muscles and improving balance reduces your probability of falls. Stronger muscles also help you bounce back quicker should a fall occur.
Flexibility and Joint Health Benefits
Look around for gentle yoga classes, as a gentle exercise increases flexibility, especially when frequently done over a period of time. Yoga is great if you find your joints to be achy or stiff and has been considered to be a therapeutic benefit for older women suffering from osteoarthritis. The low-impact moves done in yoga also help to loosen your muscles in arms and legs.
As we grow older, the likelihood of experiencing respiratory problems whilst exercising often increases. Anything that reduces oxygen in your respiratory system can have a negative effect on your body and mind. However, just a 12-week yoga programme can significantly improve respiration in older women. As humans can’t go more than a few minutes without breathing, it is a good idea to keep your respiratory system in top shape whatever your age.
Reduced High Blood Pressure Benefits
High blood pressure can lead to cardiovascular disease as well as kidney disease. Studies have shown yoga exercise reduces oxidative stress in older adults. Oxidative stress is one of several underlying causes of high blood pressure and is a strong risk factor for heart attacks for seniors. Doing calming yoga moves in your daily routine can have benefits on both your body and mind.
Reduced Anxiety Benefits
Whether you do yoga as part of a class or opt to do it at home using instructional videos, the exercise is calm and restorative. You relax your body and mind, especially during yoga exercises that are tailored specifically for seniors. When you practice yoga regularly, it can reduce your sympathetic nervous systems’ fight-or-flight response, which can often cause inflammation and other problems both physically and mentally. As yoga exercise focuses on breathing and slow movements, it can help relieve symptoms of anxiety and stress.
Bone Health Benefits
Gentle yoga exercise can help with preventing and slowing bone density loss. Whether it is to prevent osteoporosis or relieve pain from existing bone conditions or fractures, doing gentle poses and stretches can be beneficial. Studies have shown older adults who do regular yoga exercise gain vital bone mass.
Different Yoga Styles
When starting yoga, look for a class designed for mature bodies, such as ‘Yoga Over 50’ or ‘Gentle Yoga’ and make sure you start as a beginner. Even if you feel yourself to be in good shape, it is best to slowly grow into yoga practice, building it up over time.
If you have medical issues, talk to your instructor or doctor before starting yoga, as they may advise against certain positions or moves. And don’t give to excuses you are too old to try yoga – it is suitable for everyone!