While the physical health benefits of yoga are well known, many people in their golden years don’t realize that the mental health benefits of yoga are just as profound.
If you’re not familiar with the term, yoga is an ancient practice that combines exercise, breathing, and meditation to help practitioners find peace of mind in the present moment while increasing their physical strength and flexibility. It’s long been used as a form of physical therapy and treatment for certain conditions like arthritis and chronic pain. And now, studies have shown that it may help improve seniors’ mental health struggling with psychological disorders like anxiety or depression.
Let’s look at how yoga may be helpful when dealing with such conditions.
Yoga helps adults in their golden years feel calmer and more relaxed, which can help to promote a good night’s sleep. A good night’s sleep is so important for Golden-age adults as it helps keep their minds sharp and alert throughout each day. It also keeps them feeling fit and healthy. Not getting enough quality sleep regularly has been shown to increase one’s risk of obesity and other chronic conditions.
Decreased Blood Pressure
Multiple studies have shown that yoga can lower blood pressure for people with hypertension. By getting in touch with your body and improving your self-awareness, a common theme in many types of yoga, you’ll be better able to regulate your stress levels. As stress is linked to high blood pressure, reducing stress will also improve your health in other ways. If you’re suffering from high blood pressure, consider taking up a gentler form of yoga.
At first glance, yoga may seem a strange form of exercise to practice in order to relieve stress, but once you try it, you’ll understand why so many people are turning to yoga for that very purpose. Yoga has numerous benefits for adults in their golden years with mental health issues and can be a great way to start living your life more mindfully. All it takes is 30 minutes each day in addition to your usual routine. More than just stretching and exercising muscles, yoga encourages you to focus on breathing techniques and slowing down your thoughts.
Staying fit can help improve your odds of staving off Type 2 diabetes. Yoga helps strengthen muscles and bones, which can help control blood sugar. Better control of blood sugar levels can also help you ward off kidney disease, heart disease, and nerve damage related to diabetes.
Yoga can help you improve your breathing, which is an important part of staying in good physical health. If you feel like your breath is shallow or that you’re holding it during exercise, yoga can help. And even if you feel like your breathing patterns are fine and don’t need improving, keeping them healthy will only make it easier to do other exercises that may be harder to do because of a limited lung capacity. Regular practice will also lead to better awareness of your respiration, which should benefit from helping with exercise.
Mindfulness is a practice that helps train your brain to be aware of what’s happening around you in your body and your mind. Over time, mindfulness can help persons in their golden years recognize negative thoughts and feelings (like loneliness or sadness) when they come up and learn to pay attention to them without acting on them. Mindfulness training helps seniors find productive ways to cope with difficult emotions, so they don’t live with fear, anger, or depression daily.