Geriatric yoga

Seniors Are Getting More Fit With This Simple Training Method

Are you looking for a great way to feel better, have more energy, and lower your stress levels? Yoga and meditation can be a boon, and they are safe practices for people of all ages and abilities. Here’s pertinent advice for seniors and their caregivers on how to get started.

Dispelling Concerns

Yoga and meditation offer terrific health benefits, and nearly anyone can participate. However, Harvard Health Publishing cites studies indicating that there are many misconceptions preventing some people from adding these healthful activities to their lifestyles. Some people are under the impression yoga is only for women and that you should be young, athletic, and lithe to participate. Yoga is definitely physical, but there are many forms of yoga that are gentle and easy for beginners and reasonable for people with mobility limitations. There are also those who fear they will need to forego their personal beliefs and take on a new religion. While there is a spiritual element to yoga and meditation, it’s important to understand it’s more about an awareness of self — you can participate and retain your own religious beliefs.  

Starting Slowly

If you are new to an exercise program, it’s important to start slowly and have your doctor’s permission for whatever workout regimen you intend to pursue. One way for seniors to get started exercising is with easy, in-home exercises, such as walking, stretching, and resistance band exercises. Thanks to technology, seniors and their caregivers can enjoy a varied workout at home, boosting confidence, enhancing strength and flexibility, and having fun without having to get out into inclement weather or join a gym. There are Nintendo Wii games, YouTube videos, and fitness apps available with simple and beneficial exercise programs.

Another popular choice for seniors is chair yoga. If you have any balance issues, flexibility or mobility is limited, if you suffered any serious injuries, or had a surgery such as a hip or knee replacement, chair yoga can be an especially fitting choice. It provides a gentle, secure method which can be altered to fit your personal limitations. All you need are comfortable clothes and a sturdy chair to begin, and you can even stream online videos for your workout.  

Beginning Meditation

One of the great things about meditation is that you can do it anywhere, and it’s even a handy tool for relieving stressful situations. Taking a few minutes for a “time-out” can help reset your outlook, encourage you to relax, and help you stay positive. Getting started in meditation can be challenging when you aren’t used to it, so some experts suggest beginning with a short time period, like five minutes. Settle into a comfortable position in a quiet, uncluttered space, and simply count your breaths, or think “in, out” in coordination with your breathing. Focus on the air and the sensations you feel, and don’t worry if your mind wanders. It will — it happens to everyone! Just gently remind yourself to focus and relax.  

Benefits Abound

As Disabled World explains, both meditation and yoga offer important benefits to the mental and physical wellness of participants of all ages. You can boost strength, endurance, flexibility, agility, and balance, and many participants report reduced levels of stress and anxiety. It’s possible yoga and meditation could even help you sleep better and improve your ability to focus. Many people find these ancient practices especially helpful for pain management as well, which can be particularly useful to people suffering from chronic conditions such as arthritis. Yoga can even be modified to fit your individual circumstances.  

Both seniors and their caregivers can enjoy important gains from practicing meditation and yoga. They are easy activities, and virtually anyone can engage, regardless of age, background, or ability. You can live a happier, healthier life with these simple additions to your days.

Written by guest author: Harry Cline

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