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Today, plenty of older adults are realizing how self-care and wellness actions can enhance their senior years. When you take care of your body and mind, you’re rewarded with greater independence, productivity, and happiness. Though there are nearly endless ways to incorporate self-care into your life, a few simple wellness activities, like yoga and meditation, are a great place to start.
Yoga for Balance and Flexibility
Believe it or not, yoga is one of the most accessible forms of exercise there is. Most yoga poses can be easily adapted for people with limited mobility — there’s even such a thing as chair yoga! Seniors, in particular, can benefit from seeking a slower-paced form of yoga focused on proper alignment rather than fast movement. Iyengar, Viniyoga, Kripalu, Sivananda, and Hatha are good options since these place emphasis on tailoring the movements and poses to the individual’s needs.
Yoga has many benefits for seniors, including improvement in muscle tone, joint range of motion, flexibility, and balance. This is incredibly important for preventing falls and muscle strains while speeding recovery if you do happen to suffer an injury. Plus, you’ll be able to do more of the activities you love, like playing with your grandchildren. Yoga also has several mental benefits due to its close ties with meditation. Want to learn more about the health benefits of yoga? Check out this informative guide on The Health Benefits Of Yoga.
Finding a Yoga Class
Seniors should get acquainted with yoga in a live class rather than following videos at home. Class instructors are there to help you tweak your poses so you can optimize your benefits and prevent injury. Try to find a yoga class specially designed for seniors by talking to local senior centers and health clubs. Although basic Medicare doesn’t cover yoga classes, you can get help with this expense through some Medicare Advantage plans. Take advantage of online resources that walk you through using the Medicare Plan Finder on the Medicare government website — this will help you find which Medicare Advantage plans cover yoga classes.
Meditation for a Mental Boost
Meditation provides a wonderful source of stress relief and mood enhancement for anyone. Seniors may be interested in meditation for its memory-boosting benefits as well. According to U.S. News, meditation can be used to combat many of the mental, emotional, and physical changes that come with aging.
Like yoga, there are different types of meditation. Mindfulness meditation is a very old practice that has been popularized in the past few years. Studies show that mindfulness can help people stop ruminating on troubling thoughts, alleviate stress, boost working memory, and focus more easily. Check out The Ultimate Guide to Meditation and Sleep.
Strength Training and Heart-Friendly Cardio Exercises
Seniors can enjoy many other wellness activities in addition to yoga and meditation. According to Livestrong, both Pilates and Tai Chi are perfectly suited for those who are relatively new to exercise and looking for something low-impact. Similarly, walking in nature is easy on the joints while providing mental restoration to improve your focus and mood.
While cardio exercises like cycling, swimming, and brisk walking are extremely important for strengthening your heart and circulatory system, recent research suggests that strength training may be even more essential to senior health. As we get older, preserving muscle mass becomes increasingly important for reducing the risk of physical disability. Beginners should start with bodyweight and resistance band exercises. Squats, lunges, pushups, and step-ups are excellent muscle-boosters and can be done with or without weights. Tai Chi, Pilates, and yoga are also awesome forms of strength exercise if you need a gentle introduction to muscle training. Then, when you feel comfortable and strong, you can start adding weights to your workouts.
Wellness means something a little different to each of us. Though many people see it as a goal to be achieved, wellness is better thought of as a path toward greater life satisfaction and fulfillment. Mind-body exercises that encourage you to bring more awareness to your physical and mental health are a great place to start on your wellness journey.
Check out this guide for mindful meditation for beginners: Click Here
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