If you’ve never been to a yoga class, you’ve probably wondered what all the fuss is about. Maybe you even asked yourself how balancing on one leg is supposed to help you relax, let alone exercise? We certainly wouldn’t blame you.
That being said, yoga does have some pretty amazing benefits, and while balancing on one leg can be involved from time to time (if you choose to), it can help people of any age and fitness level. Here are four ways it’s especially helpful for retirees.
Improve balance and flexibility
First thing’s first: yoga isn’t one-size-fits-all. There are many different styles of yoga, and each one has its own flow and pace. Some are done completely standing, and some, like Yin, are done completely seated.
Regardless of which style of yoga you choose, each class offers the opportunity to increase flexibility and improve balance - two things that become extremely important as we get older. It’s estimated that one in four seniors falls each year, and falling is actually the number one cause of fatal injury in older adults. While we can’t completely fight gravity, we can do our best to prevent its effects.
Build healthy habits
If you’re newly retired, it can bring newfound freedom and free time, but it can also foster some pretty unhealthy habits if we aren’t careful. From spending too much time in front of the TV to getting out of your routine, it’s easy to withdraw from the people and places we used to spend our time every day when work is no longer part of the equation.
Scheduling a yoga class for yourself a couple of times a week (or any workout, really) will help keep exercise top-of-mind and prevent you from putting your health on the backburner. Eventually, it’ll become part of your life, just like going to the grocery store.
High blood pressure is widespread across all ages. In fact, 1 in 3 American adults has high blood pressure, and only half are managing it properly. Needless to say, that isn’t good.
High blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke, which means that that keeping blood pressure levels in a healthy range is incredibly important. Yoga is just as great for our mental health as it is for our physical health. If you’re looking for a way to de-stress naturally, then it could be a great tool for you.. Your heart will thank you later!
Find a new community
Loneliness is a growing epidemic across age groups (yes, even Millennials!), but seniors are often the hardest hit. It’s estimated that an astounding one-third of all American seniors are lonely, and it’s having a significant impact on health.
We all need a community - it’s a natural part of what makes us human. But, finding one isn’t always easy. Fortunately, group fitness is actually a great way to make friends as an adult.
If you attend a biweekly yoga class, you may notice a few people who follow the same schedule you do and go to the same class. If you’re already seeing them at yoga twice a week, intentionally or not, why not get to know them better? It’s been proven that peers have the greatest impact on our health. Making connections with like-minded people to keep us accountable makes us healthier in the long run.
No matter why you go to yoga or how you practice, it’s sure to bring some balance into your life - physically and mentally.
Ready to reserve your first class? Get started here!