Yoga and meditation have gained popularity over the years as a low-impact way to keep the body and mind healthy, but many people are intimidated by the thought of learning a new exercise. Seniors can often have a hard time putting together a new routine, especially if they have health or mobility issues. Yet, yoga is one of the easiest workouts to break into because it’s low-impact, and it can be molded to fit just about anyone’s needs. In fact, individuals who are living with a disability or who have an existing health condition may find that it’s one of the best ways to exercise simply because it allows for modifications that make movement easier.
When paired with yoga, meditation can be a wonderful way to keep anxiety or stress under control, and creating a routine that allows you to do it daily can help you learn to cope with those feelings when they arise. Boosting your mental health is crucial as you get older, as it helps keep you safe from the symptoms of depression and other mood disorders.
Not surprisingly, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to finding an exercise routine that works for your needs. Here are just a few things to think about.
You Can Do It from the Comfort of Your Own Home
Yoga classes are likely available in your area, but one of the benefits of learning the poses is that you can do it from the comfort of your own home. Once you’re comfortable with establishing a routine, all you need is a space to practice in and maybe a yoga mat for comfort. If you have a spare room you’re not using, such as a dining room or extra bedroom, this can be the perfect spot for your practice. You can use YouTube tutorial videos and fitness apps to supplement your workout at home and keep yourself motivated to continue with a healthy routine.
Improve Balance and Stability
Yoga focuses on balance and strengthening your core, which is great news for seniors who have mobility issues. By practicing the poses every day, you can build up your balance and stability, which can, in turn, help prevent falls — the leading cause of injury to seniors. Just make sure you’re stable during your workout; you can use a chair to help with balance if you feel unsteady.
Your ability to reduce stress and remain calm can seriously affect everything from your heart health to your mood, making yoga one of the best ways there is to impact your overall well-being. When combined with meditation, yoga can help you relax, focus on your breathing, and put the stresses of the day behind you, so make sure your practice space is free of distractions. Listen to soft music, dim the lights, and focus on yourself for the entirety of your workout. You’ll be doing your body — and mind — a favor!
Help Your Gut
Among yoga’s many benefits, one of the most overlooked is the fact that it can help with digestion and stomach issues. Many studies show that the state of our overall health depends on gut health, and digestion is one aspect that is affected by both good and bad gut bacteria. When your gut houses plenty of good bacteria, your immune system and mood also improve. So, when you practice yoga regularly, you’re setting up your body and mind for good overall health.
Because of the nature of many of the poses and the way they work your abdominal muscles, you’ll likely see an improvement in the way your body handles certain foods. One unexpected side effect of this is that it can help you sleep better, reducing the risk of heartburn and allowing you to rest easy through the night.
Yoga and meditation can have multiple benefits regardless of your age and abilities; the key is to start things off right by finding a routine that works best for you. Remember to go slowly and to stop if you feel any pain. By combining a workout for your body and mind at the same time, you’ll be able to focus on your wellness every day.