As we grow older, we want to stay in good mental and physical shape. For some people, exercises like running or lifting weights can become tough on the body. In fact, some people have to give up doing their favorite type of activity due to injury or pain.
A great alternative form of exercise that is gentler on the body is yoga, and it has proven to have undisputed benefits for those who practice it regularly.
What is yoga?
Yoga is a series of stretching and breathing exercise that also includes cardio. It has certain benefits for those who are searching for a great way to stay fit. Whether you’re trying to maintain your weight, lose weight, tone up, or remain flexible, adding yoga to your daily or weekly routine can certainly help you.
How can yoga help as you age?
Yoga is a workout for the whole body. It’s low intensity, which is helpful for the aging because it doesn’t have such a harsh impact on the body. When yoga poses are done correctly, they can help in many ways, including:
- Improve flexibility and balance. Yoga can certainly help you become more flexible, as many poses will have you gently stretching your muscles. It also improves your balance, which can help reduce the likelihood that you’ll suffer a fall as you age.
- Yoga helps with emotions. When you practice yoga regularly, you may experience less stress and negative emotions like anxiety or depression. When you’re practicing yoga, you’re practicing mindfulness or awareness of the present moment. This “being present,” much like meditation, is known to help minimize emotional mayhem.
- Yoga helps the cardiovascular system. Doing yoga regularly can give your cardiovascular system a boost. It may help decrease hypertension some and strengthen the heart.
- Yoga helps tone your body. If you are generally happy with your weight and are just looking for a way to tone up your body, yoga is also great for this. Yoga stretches your muscles and encourages you to hold core poses. This causes your muscles to become tense and tight. It is equivalent to doing squats or sit-ups, but in a way that teaches breathing and meditation techniques as well. Slower-paced yoga is best for just trying to tone-up because it causes you to hold your poses longer and keep your muscles tight longer, instead of changing poses faster in cardio yoga.
Check with your healthcare provider
Yoga is an excellent exercise that can certainly help you as you age. Of course, we recommend that you talk with your healthcare provider before starting any form of yoga or exercise, to get the go-ahead from them first.
Whether you are trying to lose weight, tone your body, or just stay healthy, yoga can undoubtedly help. Not sure where to learn yoga? Check your local fitness centers and ask your friends and family for referrals. Yoga has grown significantly over the last couple of decades, with all kinds of yoga classed offered regularly.
Yoga can be gentle and nurturing to the aging body. Go ahead and give yoga a try and see what all the hoopla is about. Start with a gentle form of yoga and enjoy learning the practice and experiencing the benefits that come as a result.