By the time when I walk along the road or travel by MRT, I noticed that there are a lot of seniors have a stooped posture known as kyphosis. The most common cause of kyphosis is due to the weakness in the spinal bones that causes them to compress or crack and it may lead to breathing problems, limitation of physical functions, digestive problems and osteoporosis. Aging is the main cause of osteopenia, and it does increase your chances of developing osteoporosis. This bone disease causes fractures, stooped posture, and can lead to severe pain and loss of height. The seniors are also more likely to have the other health concerns such as heart diseases, diabetes, respiratory diseases, falls, arthritis, stroke, depression.
Everyone knows exercise is the best way to stay young and health. How can the seniors begin to exercise if they don’t have the regular exercise habit? I will recommend yoga which is less likely to get injured than running and weight exercise.
Yoga is a joint friendly exercise if you’re doing the proper technique and it combines the strength, balance and flexibility which can bring a lot of benefits to your physical, mental and spiritual. Practicing yoga can increase the muscles tones, the balancing and the flexibility to protect us against falling down. It will also prevent or slow down the process of bone loss by increasing the bone density. Practicing the asanas with pranayama increases the lungs capacity and improves the respiratory system. The back pain can be prevented and treated by strengthen our core muscles. It does help us to strengthen the brain function to keep the mind sharp, and decrease the risk of many diseases e.g. heart diseases, diabetes, blood pressure, headaches.
Yoga means “union” and it is a way to integrate the mind and body together. Yoga move the body stronger, flexible and balance and the seniors will feel capable and stronger when they can maintain a pose in association with the breathing. Hence, the seniors can gain the confidence and independence and makes them happier. Joining a yoga studio let them have more time to meet with friends and new people. In addition, yoga can help to alleviate sleep disturbances and improve the sleeping quality and duration.
Beginning a yoga practice, it’s better to seek a well-trained teacher to guide you a correct technique of the postures. The poor postures may cause a serious injury that you may be unexpected. It’s very important to consult with the doctor or the instructor if you have any diseases, e.g. glaucoma, spinal disc problems, high or low blood pressure, heart diseases. You may start a yoga practice with some beginner asanas such as child pose (balasana), downward facing dog pose (adhomukha shvanasana), plank pose (santolasana), cobra pose (bhujangasana), mountain pose (tadasana).
We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. – George Bernard Shaw
Stay healthy and happy 🙂