Yoga comes in many different varieties, from the slow and meditative Hatha to the vigorously paced Vinyasa. No matter how different they are however, they all have some things in common. They all concentrate on a way to help you become mindful. By emphasizing the spirit of will to get the mind to work the body, everything unites. Breathing exercises, stretching and routines (or asanas) all help with this goal. However, how does this keep you young as you age?
There are six primary ways that yoga will help you as you age. Yoga affects you in ways that range from inherently obvious to something that you may not have known.
- Flexibility and joint health
- Cardiovascular Fitness
- Mental Health
- Your Skin
- Strength and Endurance
Flexibility and You
It is no secret that yoga puts your body through some paces. Stretching into positions and flowing from pose to pose challenges your joints and increase your flexibility. As your flexibility increases, you will find that little aches and pains in your joints will fade. Yoga has also shown to reduce the symptoms of arthritis. Bikram yoga focuses on flexibility.
Doing yoga for thirty minutes, three times per week is a good cardiovascular workout. This is provided, of course, that you do not spend the entire thirty minutes lying on the mat. A typical Hatha yoga workout consists of doing fifteen to twenty poses twice. The faster you flow between the poses, the more vigorous the workout. Maintaining your cardiovascular fitness will improve the overall quality of your life as you age. It reduces blood pressure, cholesterol levels and helps maintain blood glucose.
Falls are one of the leading causes of death for seniors. Yoga emphasizes balance as you flow between forms. This increased sense of balance that you will gain will help you prevent falls. While you may never be as nimble as Jack jumping over a candlestick, practicing yoga will help you stay upright even if you trip. Yoga also improves your concentration, keeping you mindful of your surroundings. If you think you are a fall risk, a Pioneer medical alert can get you help fast, when you need it.
Meditation is a large part of the yoga experience. Simply meditating for a few minutes a day will drastically improve your mental condition. Meditating and doing yoga help relieve stress, reduce depression, and keep you calm. By retraining your body to stay calm during periods of physical stress, you learn to stay calm and focused when mentally stressed as well.
That Youthful Glowing Skin
Yoga helps keep you looking young as well. Stress in your life causes your body to release cortisol, which in turn causes your glucose levels to spike. This releases insulin, which is an inflammatory hormone. When your skin becomes stressed, the tissue inflammation causes premature skin aging. Yoga keeps you calm, which reduces the levels of cortisol. This tumbles into keeping your skin from aging, preserving your younger looking and healthier skin.
Keeping You Strong
It is no secret that you lose muscle tone when you get older. Going to the gym and lifting weights to combat that loss is not appealing to many seniors. Yoga, with its poses and working with and against your own body weight, is a great way to keep muscle tone. Improved muscle tone will also help keep you from falling and if you do fall, help speed your recovery.
Yoga is a great way for you to exercise as you age. There are not just mental and physical benefits, but social ones as well. Joining a yoga club will keep you in touch with seniors with like-minded goals, keeping you focused on enjoying your silver and golden years.