Today, more research is proving how leading an active lifestyle benefits the elderly population. Yoga is an excellent activity that has many health benefits. For example, yoga strengthens the body and increases flexibility. Yoga also benefits the mind, body and spirit. The practice of yoga is calming for many. For example, elderly people have stated that they sleep better, feel calmer, and feel less anxious since practicing yoga. Also, elderly people have observed improvement with breathing and lung problems. Research has also proved yoga can decrease an elderly persons fasting sugars. It also can decrease hypertension, cholesterol and promote weight loss.
Another benefit of yoga is that it decreases social isolation amongst the elderly population. People who engage in yoga stated they “felt like part of a group, and have a sense of belonging”. A big concern amongst the elderly population is isolation. Yoga groups can be found in many communities. Some centers are now creating yoga groups that are designed only for senior citizens. You can contact your local YMCA, senior center or fitness center to obtain more information.
* This article was written by Michele Bano, BSW, BA