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Yoga - Holistic Exercise for Seniors

Wellness for Seniors by Eldercare Sarasota
Let's face it, we all want to grow older gracefully. We want to be seen as wise and experienced instead of as old. And most importantly we do not want to talk about the pains and aches we begin to feel. Those pains can make us feel everything but graceful. But what if I told you that joint stress and osteoarthritis don't have to control your life as you age? Simply by adding a little bit of exercise to your routine, you'll notice those pains slowly disappear again!

yoga for seniors So what sort of exercise should you be focusing on? Yoga!
Yoga offers so many benefits, both physical and mental. By incorporating yoga in your daily routine, you will suddenly notice how much easier everyday activities become. Yoga is especially centered around improving flexibility as well as providing strength training for your joints. This can significantly improve any stiff or achy feelings in your body. In fact, many studies have shown the precise benefits of yoga for the management of osteoarthritis. The studies show that it is the slow and simple movements of yoga that allow your muscles to relax and loose while simultaneously toning and increasing joint support.
Yoga is also known for improving balance as well as blood pressure. It should be no surprise that as we age, we become a little less grounded in our movements. It just happens. That is when certain yoga poses can really help by requiring focus and stability. By practicing these poses, you can decrease the likelihood of losing balance in your everyday life and even help your body become stronger so it can recover faster if you do suffer a fall. Yoga also helps reduce stress which in return reduces certain factors in high blood pressure in the elderly. As studies state, seniors are at extreme risk for hypertension which can lead to many cardiovascular diseases. With yoga, the body begins to find a balance within itself again, leading to healthier blood pressure.

The benefits of yoga go on and on. Whether you are looking to reduce your anxiety or you want to simply find a way to feel better physically, yoga can help you achieve it all. As you begin to practice yoga, make sure to keep an open mind and really try! Before you realize it, the benefits will start appearing before your eyes.

Example Yoga Poses for Seniors to Start

Tree Pose

tree pose for seniors Tree pose helps to improve balance and improves leg and abdominal strength.

Stand tall and place one foot on the opposite inner thigh. As you gain balance you can draw your raised foot upward. You can start as low as you want either above or below the knee. Open the leg to the side, bring your hands to prayer either in front of your body or above the head and stay for a few breaths.

Warrior II

Warrior II for seniors
This pose improves lower body strength, it strengthens your legs, butt, back and shoulders. You also get to stretch your hips, groin, and inner thighs.

Start out with your right leg. Hinge forward fron your hips. Step your right foot behind you, pointing your toes out at a 45-degree angle with your balance focused on the outer edge of your foot. Keep this leg straightened. Your hips should remain facing the front of your mat. Your left leg should be in front of you with your foot pointed forward and square your hips facing forward.
Bend your left knee at as close to a 90-degree angle as you can, keeping your knee right above your foot.
Reach both arm out at shoulder height.
Hold this pose for a few breaths and feel the strength in your left thigh and shoulders.
Repeat with your other leg.

Cobra

cobra pose for seniors
Excellent for improving upper back strength and flexibility.

Begin by lying face down on your stomach place your hands palm down under your shoulders. Use your upper back muscles to lift your chest off the floor. Relax your shoulders, expand your chest and look forward. Hold this position for a few breaths then gently lower your chest onto the floor again.

Knees to Your Chest

knee to chest yoga pose for seniors This exercise stretches the lower back and hips. It also relaxes the mind.

Lie on your back and bring both knees to your chest. Hug your legs with both arms. Enjoy the calming effect of this pose for as long as your want.

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