Getting old is a natural part of life, and can present us with a number of challenges in our advancing years. In this post, we will look at some of the benefits of yoga for old people, and how it can form a vital part of their wellness routine, to keep them fit and active in their twilight years.
The effects of ageing on the body
For centuries, humans have grappled with the concept of ageing. It’s inevitable for literally every single living being, and yet we go out of our way to fight it in any way we can.
This instinct is probably a natural one, purely because of how much our bodies change as we get older, and how much we want to hold on to them for as long as we possibly can. As we age, our body begins to change in a number of ways, and this affects so much of what we do on a day-to-day basis.
- Our bones gradually begin to shrink, and they become less dense, losing a substantial amount of their erstwhile strength and rigidity. As a result, these brittle bones are far more likely to break upon any severe impact.
- The effects on Our muscles also become weaker, and less durable, which can in turn affect our basic motor movements as well general coordination and stability.
- There are also noticeable alterations that take place in our intricate internal systems, particularly in our dietary and cardiovascular systems.
Suffice it to say, the ageing process puts humans at a significant disadvantage in day to day life, while also increasing the risk of injury. It becomes critical for senior citizens to maintain some form of exercise to minimize these risks as much as they can, and this is where yoga for old people can play a vital role.
The benefits of yoga for elderly people
Physical inactivity is a major problem that people need to contend with as they get older. It can be a significant contributing factor to ill health, so it’s especially important for people to ensure they get enough exercise as they age. Indeed, the WHO recommends that senior citizens (defined as anyone over the age of 65) do an average of at least 20 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each day, meaning that yoga for old people certainly more than has its place in modern wellness.
When it comes to exercise for seniors, there are certain constraints to consider – mobility being the biggest one. A lot of people begin to have trouble moving freely as they get older, making it harder to perform aerobic exercises such as walking, jogging or cycling. Ageing also causes problems with balance, making older people more susceptible to injuries from falls.
Which is why it’s important to identify other forms of exercise that can help senior citizens get the physical activity they need, without placing undue strain on the body. And this is where specially curated yoga for elderly people can prove to be an excellent alternative.
Yoga for old people: how does it help?
At one point or another, we’ve all likely visited a park and witnessed large groups of old people doing yoga. And this is with good reason too, as the benefits of yoga for elderly folks have been well documented. Studies have found that yoga can be an effective tool to help senior citizens stay fit and healthy, providing a number of physiological and psychological benefits:
Yoga for old people to enhance circulation
Blood circulation slows down as we age, contributing to a number of cardiovascular problems. As the body gets older, we also need to contend with the risk of developing conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, that can place further strain on the heart, veins and arteries.
Certain simple stretches in a well-curated routine of yoga for old people can help to activate key muscles and joints, leading to better circulation in the body.
Yoga for elderly people to improve their balance
Being unsteady on one’s feet is one of the biggest nuisances that elderly people have to deal with. This is typically a direct result of the muscular degeneration that can take place over time. Various sequences of rhythmic exercises can help to arrest this problem, by boosting flexibility, and increasing the body’s range of motion. Detailed studies have shown the positive impact this can have for senior citizens in particular, helping them improve their overall mobility as well as the general function of their limbs.
Yoga to control blood sugar levels
Type-2 diabetes is typically contracted later in life, and it is an affliction that can affect a lot of people, particularly as they get older. Yoga has been found to be an effective tool to help reduce blood glucose levels in the body. This allows for an excellent supplement to any existing diabetes medication regime, helping them to control the symptoms of the condition more naturally and effectively.
Meditation for senior citizens to calm the mind
While we’ve talked about the physical impact of ageing, the mental impact can be just as significant, if not greater. After retirement, with a lack of regular stimulus to the brain, coupled with the ageing process, older people may often have to contend with mild cognitive impairment, as well as trouble with sleep, anxiety and more.
Along with the physical benefits, yoga for old people can also provide relief to the mind, by having a tremendously positive impact on cognition and quality of sleep. Simple techniques of meditation for senior citizens, when practiced in conjunction with yoga, can also help to alleviate symptoms of stress, anxiety, and provide a boost to overall mental well-being.
Ultimately, the ageing process is simply a part of life, and something we all need to go through. And there’s enough evidence to suggest that old people doing yoga and meditation as a part of their wellness routine, can make the transition to their twilight years a smooth, comfortable, and worry-free one.