Showing posts with label advantages of yoga for senior citizens. Show all posts
Showing posts with label advantages of yoga for senior citizens. Show all posts

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Get Stronger and Live a Longer, Healthier Life

Most of us, whether we are retired or not, realize the importance of cardio exercise in maintaining their health.  Examples of popular types of cardio exercise include walking, running, hiking, swimming, biking, dancing, pickleball, tennis or taking aerobic exercise classes like Zumba.  While all of these activities are very important if you hope to stay active as you age, researchers have discovered that it is just as important to make sure you build muscle and stay strong.

According to an AAARP article in the May, 2022 Bulletin, a 2021 review of sixteen studies determined that it only takes about 30 to 60 minutes of strength training or resistance exercise per week to increase the average life expectancy by 10 to 17 percent!  So, if you want to live a longer, healthier life, find a way to build muscles for 10 to 15 minutes, and do it three to five times a week.  

Examples of Strength and Resistance Training

Among the things the researchers discovered is that your strength training does not require that you do anything special. You may already be incorporating some of it in your daily life.  Here are some examples:

Lifting weights

Using resistance bands

Yoga or Pilates classes

Doing calisthenics, push-ups, sit-ups, squats, etc.

Carrying groceries, grandchildren or heavy items when gardening or performing similar chores around your home.

As you can see, working those muscles is easier than you think!

Protein Also Helps You Build Muscle

Read "The Whole Body Reset" 

However, simply working your muscles is not enough if you hope to build the muscle you need to extend your life.  The AARP book "The Whole Body Reset"   (ad) also recommends that women over 50 eat at least 25 grams of protein at every meal, and men should get 30 grams of protein per meal.  This is the amount necessary to "stimulate protein synthesis, the process for building and maintaining muscle."  This type of protein timing, combined with strength and resistance training, will enable your body to respond as if you are in your 20s.  That's pretty amazing!

But what if you don't want to eat a lot of meat, especially if you are watching your cholesterol?  Why not pour a protein drink over your morning oatmeal or cereal?  Eat a tuna salad or peanut butter sandwich at lunchtime.  Add some beans and other sources of protein to your dinner.  There are many delicious ways to increase your protein in your diet.

Other Benefits of Gaining Strength as You Age

Obviously, the idea that protein and strength training could extend your life is pretty appealing.  However, there are even more benefits to your health if you make these two simple lifestyle changes, including:

A healthier brain - The stronger you are, the lower your risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease.

Less weight gain - The more strength you have, the less likely you are to gain weight as you age.

Lower blood pressure - Stronger muscles are associated with lower blood pressure

Lower risk of heart disease - Staying strong reduces your chance of developing metabolic syndrome issues such as abdominal fat, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high cholesterol.  These issues are closely connected to heart disease.

Less inflammation - Inflammation contributes to many unpleasant health issues as we age, including heart disease and arthritis. The stronger you are, the less inflammation you are likely to have.

Lower risk of developing diabetes - Increased muscle mass leads to better insulin sensitivity and a lower risk of developing diabetes or prediabetes. 

Higher cancer survival rate - Researchers have discovered that people with greater muscle mass are more likely to survive certain types of cancer, including breast cancer and prostate cancer.  

Greater happiness and less depression - People with a strong grip are less likely to suffer from depression.  Practice squeezing those tennis balls!

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Saturday, September 26, 2020

Yoga For Your Mind, Body and Soul - Try it at Any Age

About 30 years ago, a friend of mine was recovering from breast cancer and her physician recommended she take a gentle yoga class as a way to regain her strength and flexibility.  I went with her, experiencing this soothing form of exercise for the first time.  I was hooked!  When I started, I was not able to do most of the postures, because I did not have enough upper body strength and I was not very flexible.  Today, in my 70s, I am able to do many of the postures I could not do in my 40s. Over the years, I have gradually become stronger and more flexible. Who would ever have thought that I could have more upper body strength and more flexibility in my 70s than in my 40s? 
Over the decades, yoga has become more widely accepted and today it is recommended for a wide variety of health issues ... to lower stress, build strength, become more flexible, lower blood pressure, and improve balance.  It seems to be a cure-all for many different problems. 
A good way to start is with a yoga video for beginners.  (Ad)  You may also want to pick up a few yoga supplies, such as a mat, a couple of blocks or a strap.  (Ad) If you do not want to buy these things right away, you can always practice on your carpet, using rolled up towels and an old belt to help you maintain some of the positions.  Yoga can be a very cheap hobby.  
You may also find free or low-cost classes for seniors in your community. I currently take a free class for seniors from a local community college, taught by an 84 year old teacher!  Prior to that, I took a similar class at a senior center.  I have even taken chair yoga classes that included people in wheelchairs.  Nearly everyone can benefit from yoga, regardless of their physical limitations. 
Because of my personal experience with yoga, I was thrilled to receive this guest post on the benefits of this lovely form of exercise. You can learn more about how yoga can improve the health of senior citizens from the helpful guest post below by Kelsey Simpson.

How to Improve Your Mind, Body, and Soul With Yoga at Any Age


by Kelsey Simpson

Yoga is an ancient practice that incorporates the mind, body, and soul and can improve all three in a variety of ways. Anyone, no matter his or her age, can benefit from yoga. Whether you are young or old, your body will thank you for incorporating yoga into your everyday life. 

Yoga is an activity you can practice for the rest of your life. In fact, an expert from a company which provides independent senior living in NJ pointed out that many retirement communities offer yoga to their residents because the benefits are so vast. If you are new to yoga, you may be wondering how these gentle movements can improve so many aspects of your body. This post will detail how yoga enhances the human body at any age.

What Are The Benefits of Yoga?

Whether you are sixteen or sixty-five, yoga is something you should try to practice multiple times a week, if not every day. Learning yoga is not hard, and it doesn’t even need to cost you money, if you choose to practice yoga at home via online videos. Because yoga is so ancient, and there are so many theories about how it can best help us, there are many forms of it. Here are a few:





Each form of yoga has its own set of movements and breathing exercises. However, they all work towards improving a person's overall well-being, so you can try several and choose the style which you enjoy the most.  Below are some of the benefits you can expect:

Yoga Can Improve Your Mindset Significantly

Yoga is often used to improve one’s mental state. The practice of yoga can calm you, help you focus, and train you to learn mindfulness. Depending on the type of yoga you choose, different skills will be emphasized; however, all are beneficial.

Yoga is beneficial for all ages because it teaches the mind to focus on what is important and not get too worked up about things which one cannot control. For teens and young adults, yoga is a good way to develop calmness and values which they can use for the rest of their lives. Yoga will help a young person be proactive when it comes to managing everyday life stressors.

For adults and seniors, yoga is a wonderful way to help them deal with the anxiety and stress of work, family, and everyday life. Adults and seniors will learn how to relax when events happen in life which they cannot control. Yoga has the ability to improve one’s mental outlook significantly.

What Are the Benefits of Yoga on the Body?

In addition to helping one obtain a clear and healthy mindset, yoga will also improve your body. People of all ages use muscles throughout their body in yoga practice. Some yoga practices require more movement than others and are more fast-paced. On the other hand, there are yoga classes which focus on one muscle group for a prolonged period of time. Over time, this will strengthen that muscle group.

For younger people, yoga is a great way to stay in shape and keep your heart healthy. Likewise, for adults and seniors, yoga will help you lose weight and preserve your strength, as it requires full-body movement. It is crucial for older adults to maintain their strength as they age, so they can still move around comfortably; yoga will help with that.  Yoga also emphasizes balance exercises, which are so important for seniors in preventing falls.

How Yoga Can Help Your Well-Being

Yoga is not simple, especially when you first start. Adopting mindfulness, and gently moving your body into poses which may initially be uncomfortable or awkward can be challenging.  However, sticking with it, and making an active effort, will help your overall sense of well-being, calmness, and joy. In this way, it improves your feelings of peace and soulfulness.

Pushing yourself to new limits will make you feel accomplished and proud. You will also feel stronger, not only physically, but mentally, which is important for your overall health, peacefulness, and inner soul. Focusing on your movements will allow you to block out the outside world, which can help you develop a sense of calm and peace.

Become a Yogi Today

If you have not started practicing yoga, it will be in your best interest to begin soon. You can start practicing yoga by watching videos (Ad) online in the comfort of your home, or you can join a yoga studio or take a class. No matter where you practice yoga, your mind, body, and soul will be grateful. Start your yoga journey today.

About the Author

Kelsey Simpson enjoys writing about topics which help others. She lives in South Jersey and is the proud companion to two German Shepherds and spends her free time volunteering in dog shelters.

If you are interested in learning more about common medical issues as you age, Social Security, Medicare, where to retire, financial planning, travel and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles.

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase from an Amazon ad, I'll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

You are reading from the blog:

Photo credits:  Pixabay