Adding Yoga to Your Wellness Routine
Looking for Total Well-Being as You Age? Here's one way you can!
Although you may still be young at heart, as you grow older your mind and body might feel otherwise. Happily, the mental and physical downsides of aging are not inevitable. If you are already eating healthy meals and integrating healing supplements, consider adding yoga to improve flexibility, strength and overall well-being.
Taking a holistic approach to wellness means meeting the needs of both your body and your mind, which is critical as you age. Eating a healthy diet and restoring your body with essential nutrients by taking advantage of this total restore offer can go a long way toward improving how you feel. Yoga can also become a key contributor to your overall health, offering you both physical and mental benefits that will positively impact your quality of life.
While not defined as exercise, per se, yoga can help your body in tangible ways. It increases your flexibility and strength so you can move more quickly and confidently. Yoga can also be an excellent tool for improving your state of mind by helping you take a more balanced approach to life’s challenges.
As you age, your body becomes less limber. Joints stiffen and mobility decreases, making fluid movement more challenging. When you are unable to move easily you are more susceptible to aches, pains, weakness and even injury.
A typical yoga session engages your body in a range of motions that will stretch your joints, muscles and connective tissue. Several poses encourage lengthening of the spine, which in turn strengthens muscles surrounding the spine and increases blood flow, all of which contribute to improved flexibility. You will have greater dexterity and become less likely to fall or to have other accidents, and you’ll find yourself moving through your day more confidently.
Another natural part of aging is the loss of muscle mass. Muscle proteins break down over time, causing strength to deteriorate. Practicing yoga can help restore lost muscle mass by increasing muscle tension; the more challenging the yoga poses, the more tension your muscles require to hold and move through the poses. Even with less demanding postures, increasing the length of your yoga session and repeating strengthening flows will improve your muscle mass over time.
As with flexibility, maintaining strong muscles can make aging a less detrimental process. When you feel stronger you can move about with greater ease, which in turn encourages you to engage in more activities that improve your health. You will find yourself taking more walks, swimming more laps and going on longer bike rides.
Although stress, anxiety and depression can occur at any age, these problems often have greater impact as you become older. The lack of social interaction and poor physical health that sometimes come with aging can contribute to diminished mental well-being. Yoga’s ability to improve your mental health is one of its greatest benefits. The inner focus that naturally occurs by moving through poses is similar to what is experienced during meditation. In the meditative state brought on by yoga, hormones are released that can reduce stress, improve sleep and increase longevity. As you move through postures and reflect inward, your mind lets go of mental stressors and you develop a sense of inner peace. If you often feel anxious, these hormones can calm your nervous system and prevent the ever-present “flight or fight” mode you may feel trapped in.
The mindfulness and awareness you develop through yoga may also carry over into your daily life. Yoga teaches your mind to slow down and take a more balanced approach to challenges, so even off the mat you will feel more at peace. You will be less likely to dwell on problems, and in turn you will feel less anxiety.
Another mental benefit is yoga’s ability to boost your brain power. You may have started to feel less quick-witted than in your younger days, but by practicing yoga you’ll notice your attention and concentration are sharpened. Practitioners also report better memory and improved visualization skills.
While it’s beneficial to many, taking a holistic approach to health can have a greater positive impact on those facing the challenges of aging. Incorporating yoga into your wellness routine may better your chances of aging well, with both a strong mind and a strong body.