Studies have shown, as we age, we tend to be less active. We become more prone to illness, which can lead to inactivity. It can become a vicious cycle. This article is a guideline only, and not intended to replace your doctor’s recommendations. Always consult with your doctor before engaging in any new type of physical activity.

Problems Related to Inactivity

Many elderly people have probably been told by their doctors, friends, and family to rest and take it easy. Today, this advice is false. Taking it easy and leading a sedentary life style can lead to weakness, reduced joint flexibility, arthritis, high blood pressure, lower back pain, breathing difficulties, vision problems, stress related illnesses, inability to sleep well, osteoporosis, and general deterioration. Furthermore, loss of balance may also become an issue due to inactivity. I have listed just a few examples. Lack of activity can also contribute to a number of other health issues.

Benefits of Yoga

Today, more and more research is proving how leading an active life style benefits the elderly population. Yoga is an excellent activity that has many health benefits. For example, yoga strengthens the body and increases flexibility. Moreover, yoga 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 stated they observed improvement with breathing and lung problems. Research has also proved yoga can decrease an elderly persons fasting sugars. Yoga can also decrease hypertension, cholesterol, and promote weight loss.

Another benefit of yoga is that it decreases social isolation amongst the elderly population. For example, people who engage in yoga stated that they “felt part of a group, and 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, and fitness centers to obtain more information. Nursing homes, assisted living centers are also practicing yoga because of all the health benefits.

To conclude, yoga has many health benefits. Yoga can reduce many health complications related to aging. Furthermore, research has also shown that practicing yoga can slow down the aging process. Leading an inactive life style can promote age related illnesses.

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Author's Bio: 

In 2000, I received my Bachelor’s of Social Work (BSW) from McGill University and have gained valuable experience about the care of senior citizens from working as a social worker in the geriatric unit of a public hospital for ten years. Having been exposed to many important issues that are relevant to both the elderly and their families, I have created this website to address the questions both may have regarding the available options.