Senior Fitness: Yoga Tips for Older Adults in Northern Michigan
Yoga and Pilates are both popular forms of exercise that build core strength, are great for balance and help to improve overall flexibility. These are all important factors in keeping our elders free from falls – the leading cause of injury and death among seniors. The lesser known benefits of Pilates and yoga include:
- Improved feeling of well-being
- Better breathing and increased oxygen intake
- Improved relaxation response to stress
- Weight loss and weight control
The problem for many older adults, however, is that they may lack the ability to get down on to a yoga mat on the floor to exercise due to physical impairments. Osteoarthritis, Parkinson’s disease, chronic back pain and other health conditions are the reason many seniors avoid exercise.
Chair Yoga can provide a solution. It is a modified form of yoga that allows seniors to perform the exercises from a seated position. They reap the rewards of yoga while working with their physical limitations.
Yoga has been shown to improve the health of older adults living with a variety of health conditions including:
- Diabetes – by helping with weight control
- Osteoarthritis – by building muscle strength around diseased joints
- Heart disease – by helping with relaxation and weight management
- Depression – by improving the stress response and promoting better breathing techniques
- Scoliosis – by building core strength and flexibility
- Multiple Sclerosis – by improving balance and overall strength
This helpful graphic demonstrates Chair Yoga exercises that can be performed in the privacy of your own home or with friends at a local senior center.
As is important with any new form of exercise, older adults should seek the approval of their physician before beginning Chair Yoga.
Are you an older adult or the caregiver for an older adult who participates in Chair Yoga? Would you try it as a form of exercise, if not?