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The Benefits of Yoga for Seniors and the Elderly

User Category: General HealthOn: October 28, 2013

For older adults battling osteoporosis, arthritis, chronic pain and other ailments, staying strong, healthy, and active can be a challenge. Enter yoga. Research shows that a modified yoga practice can be an effective therapy for improving health and wellbeing for seniors and the elderly.  Provides Low-Impact Exercise The slow, gentle movements involved with yoga are an excellent for helping older adults with limited mobility integrate movement and physical exercise into their lives. Unlike weight training, yoga is low-impact, easy on joints, and has a low risk for injury. Improved Flexibility Yoga stretches the body, which can help seniors maintain good range of motion as they age and prevent against fails. In fact there is an old yogic saying that goes 'the body is as young as the spine is flexible’. Food for thought! Lowers blood pressure A recent study found that adults who did yoga 2 to 3 times per week for 6 months experienced a statistically significant drop in blood pressure, demonstrating that yoga could have a positive effect on those with hypertension, especially when used in conjunction with other lifestyle modifications including a healthy diet. Sleep better About one-half of all seniors report sleeping problems including insomnia and late-night wakefulness. Researchers at Harvard University have discovered that yoga actually helps people fall asleep more quickly stay asleep throughout the night. Breathing and relaxation techniques that make up the backbone of yoga practice translates in to improved sleep quality. Pain relief Overmedication is a widespread problem among the aging population, especially for those who suffer with chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia. The average senior fills about 14 prescriptions per year. Luckily those battling with chronic pain can turn to yoga for a medication-free way to address aches and find relief. In numerous research studies, patients practicing yoga have seen reductions in joint pain, muscle stiffness and overall physical discomfort. Fluid movement allow swollen joints to glide smoothly over one another which helps promote relief. What other health benefits does yoga have for seniors and the elderly?