Yoga is a form of exercise that is ideal for people of all ages and all fitness levels. For those over 50 it is a fantastic form of exercise that can greatly improve the aging process in numerous ways.
Yoga originated in India as early as the 17th century and in the modern age, it is still seen as one of the best ways to exercise, promote relaxation, and in general improve one’s quality of life on numerous levels. Yoga brings harmony to mind, body and soul by regulating life energies.
36.7 million Americans (15% of US adults), a number that is up from 20.4 million in 2014, and far more worldwide practice yoga for its numerous and seemingly never ending benefits for mind, body and spirit.
What is Yoga
Yoga is a form of mind-body exercise that utilizes yoga poses, known as Asanas along with elements of mindfulness meditation and structured breathing.
There are several schools of yoga, and each has its own specific uses and benefits. Some are quite calm in nature, like Hatha yoga and others are more active and physically demanding including, the Bikram Yoga and Ashtanga schools.
One of the greatest benefits of yoga is that it is a low impact form of exercise with poses that can be done by anyone at any age, and it is certainly a great practice for those ages 50 and older.
100 Benefits Of Yoga For People 50 And Older
If you have been considering yoga, or looking for a way to improve your physical and mental health also your overall wellbeing into the golden years, here are plenty of reasons as to why yoga can be a great choice.
1- Yoga releases tension in the muscles, which allows for a much more youthful appearance and feelings of youthfulness, which then stimulate attitude and behavior, making you in a sense “ageless.”
2- A study (Chatterjee, et al) out of India found yoga to greatly increase levels of GH and DHEAS, both of which are known to slowing down aging. GH, or somatotropin, is a peptide hormone that stimulates cell growth and reproduction, such as skin and muscle tissue. DHEAS is an androgen hormone that is linked to heart health, immune system function and other internal body processes.
3- One of the main benefits of yoga is that it helps in keeping your joints, healthy, flexible and supple. This means that you will be able to keep doing all the things you like to do, and improve your performance in every day tasks even in your older years.
4- As we age, balance is not what it once was. Yoga poses greatly enhance balance skills lessening chances of being injured from a fall.
5- Yoga offers many different poses that are aimed to help strengthen the upper and lower body, so even if you are not be able to lift weights, you can use yoga to build strength.
6- While you will not burn as many calories as you would running, swimming or taking part in an exercise class, yoga will still burn some calories, which will help you keep a healthy weight. Several studies have shown yoga to lower BMI with regular practice.
7- The mindfulness aspect of yoga boosts focus and concentration that will help keep your mind sharp as you age.
8- Yoga releases toxins to prevent the build-up of free radicals that destroy the skin’s appearance and organ elasticity.
9- Yoga is a very low maintenance form of exercise that only requires an exercise mat to perform the poses, so there is no expensive equipment for you to purchase. (That said Yoga studios can cost a fortune, but you can opt for online customised Yoga programs at a fraction of price from the comfort of your home.)
10- Because of the way yoga encourages you to have a positive and relaxed state of mind; regular yoga sessions will greatly boost your mood, and put a spring in your step.
11- Yoga can be done by anyone. No matter your fitness level, there are beneficial yoga poses that you can do. Even if you suffer from chronic pain, or any kind of physical issues you still can slowly incorporate yoga into your life.
12- When it comes to keeping your midsection in good shape, yoga is a great choice. It really works the core to keep it strong, which is really beneficial during the aging process.
13- The strong core benefits gained from yoga help improve posture, which is a very nice bonus as you age.
14- Even though yoga is a very relaxing experience, there are also challenging poses that will help you grow with your skill levels.
15- Yoga lowers pulse rate making the heart more efficient at pumping blood to the body with fewer beats.
16- There are many different yoga poses, so you get lots of variety in your workouts helping to keep things interesting and fun, which of course promotes an on-going interest in fitness.
17- The way yoga stretches and strengthens your joints means that you will be less likely to suffer injuries from doing everyday things that most of us take for granted.
18- As we get older, we may struggle with our breathing and learning to breathe in a controlled manor is a major part of any good yoga session.
19- Some exercise routines such as circuit training and other cardio require a lot of space and equipment. Yoga requires very little space and no equipment except a mat even that’s optional if your floor is not slippery.
20- Yoga is all about you, so you do not have to worry about lifting heavy weights like the person next to you, or running as fast as the person next to you at the gym does on the treadmill. You just have to concentrate on your own form and pace.
21- One thing that people do not realize about yoga is that you can actually get a full body workout. Upper body, lower body and of course your core will all get a good workout. Ofcourse continuous practice of yoga also nurture your spirit.
22- Lower back pain is something that afflicts many people in their 50’s and above. Because of the numerous core-strengthening exercises, yoga can greatly help with this.
23- Yoga improves bone health and has actually been proven to flat out prevent osteoporosis. This condition afflicts millions of post-menopausal women and also a large number of aging men, causing bones to easily break as they become thin and brittle.
24- If you are unlucky enough to suffer from chronic joint pain then yoga can really help you to have a better quality of life.
25- The APA warns that 33% of Americans are living with chronic stress and 48% percent report that stress has only increased in their lives in the previous years. Money is a major stressor, and since this can be a huge issue in retirement, yoga can help. Yoga is known to be one of the best stress relievers out there. You will always feel incredible after each session and with regular participation, stress levels will greatly be reduced improving your overall quality of life as well as your mental, and physical health.
26- Various studies have shown that those who practice yoga have an easier time falling asleep at night and in general have a better quality of sleep. Good sleep promotes good physical and mental health, and also keeps stress at bay.
27- Many people in their 50’s can start to develop high blood pressure and Yoga has been proven to lower blood pressure.
28- Yoga will not strain or punish your muscles as some other forms of exercises do. Yoga is far more low impact, and can be done by people of all ages, shapes and sizes.
29- By using your own bodyweight for resistance, you are giving yourself a very good workout, but not overloading the muscles to the point where injury is likely to occur.
30- Keeping a good range of motion is key to being able to enjoy all the things you like to do as you get older. Yoga poses stretch, tone and maintains your muscles for optimal range of motion.
31- As yoga helps with your range of motion, you will also find that doing everyday activities such as shopping, cleaning, reaching, and gardening is not as stressful or painful on your body.
32- Certain yoga poses such as The Plow, The Bridge, and The Seated Forward Bend have been proven to ease some of the more uncomfortable symptoms of menopause. One study, showed yoga to cut hot flashes by 31% and further research found it to boost mood, improve libido, and reduce cravings.
33- Yoga poses massage internal organs helping to improve the body’s ability to prevent disease.
34- Yoga helps with pain management in chronic pain conditions such as arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and fibromyalgia.
35- Regular practice of yoga will really help your spine stay strong and agile by keeping your spinal disc supple, which can make your day-to-day life much more comfortable and help you maintain a youthful feeling.
36- Yoga is a great way to get your blood flowing and maintain healthy blood circulation, especially to your hands and feet.
37- Many studies have shown that those in their 50’s who regularly practice yoga have healthier immune systems than people who do not.
38- While yoga may not offer the same kind of cardio workout as an aerobic or circuit training class, it is a physically demanding exercise that is known to improve heart health and can only help with your cardiovascular conditioning.
39- High blood pressure is something that can affect many aging people, and yoga can help reduce high blood pressure and prevent the condition altogether.
40- Have you ever met someone who does yoga who is not a happy person? Exactly! Yoga is something that can greatly improve your mood and make you a more positive and happier person.
41- Yoga helps improve memory and reaction time.
42- In essence, yoga forces you to relax so if you are having a rough or stressful day, a yoga session can improve your outlook and elicit relaxation.
43- Yoga stimulates the detoxification process within the body helping to delay the effects of aging.
44- As yoga helps alleviate stress, you are less likely to suffer from stress related ailments such as IBS, ulcers and constipation.
45- Yoga promotes mindfulness, which helps with emotional eating and being in touch with your body to identify genuine hunger to keep destructive overeating at bay.
46- Yoga can help the pain of carpal tunnel syndrome.
47- The controlled movements required to do yoga poses teaches practitioners self-control in all aspects of their lives.
48- Due to the way yoga improves both your physical and mental state, you will find that you have a much more positive outlook on life, which has a direct effect on physical and mental health.
49- Yoga helps you release internal negative energy that helps reduce depression.
50- There are many different yoga poses, which makes it ideal for people of all fitness levels. If you have not exercised in years then there are poses that are more basic. For those who are a little more fit, there are poses that will challenge.
51- Yoga can serve as the kick-start you need to really get yourself back into great shape. Many people start with yoga and then move onto more intense forms of exercise.
52- Yoga is not just for women. Men in their 50’s can also use yoga to improve their quality of life, reduce work related stress, and improve their health.
53- If you are unlucky enough to suffer from occasional or frequent headaches and migraines, try yoga, it’s been proven to help.
54- Yoga poses help build a strong lymphatic system, which helps to eliminate toxins from the body.
55- Regular yoga practice helps to control and balance hormones for overall physical and emotional health.
56- Yoga can also help you look good too as it tones up your muscles and helps sculpt your midsection!
57- By taking part in regular yoga sessions you are keeping your fine motor skills tuned up, which is something that will help you maintain optimal performance as you progress into your 50’s and beyond.
58- Because of the way that yoga gets you more in touch and in tune with your body you will find that your coordination skills are much better after just a couple of months of yoga.
59- While yoga alone will not result in major weight loss, it does help you get in touch with body and be more mindful of what and how you eat, so you can make better choices when it comes to your diet and the exercise you do.
60- One study showed yoga to elevate of gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) in the brain that may help reduce risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, the meditative aspect of yoga helps to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s.
61- Yoga offers strength training, muscle toning and other benefits seen in other workouts but without the stimulating the “fight or flight” within the sympathetic nervous system, instead it works through the parasympathetic nervous system to lower blood pressure, slow breathing and promote feelings of healing and relaxation.
62- Most exercise routines dominate the cortex part of the brain; conversely, yoga dominates the sub cortex, an area associated with well-being.
63- People in their 50’s and older who take part in regular yoga sessions will find that they have improved sexual desire, performance, and satisfaction!
64- The controlled breathing in yoga yields more post workout energy and much less fatigue as compared with other workouts.
65- Studies have shown that people who practice yoga on a regular basis have a friendlier and more easygoing personality. Which is great if you find that you are getting a little salty as you get into your older years.
66- The intricate poses performed in yoga help to improve eye-hand coordination.
67- As it works the entire body, yoga markedly improves endurance, one of the main reasons it is used by professional athletes.
68- People who take part in yoga are most often people who have a more optimistic outlook on life, which is a great attitude to have as you enter your golden years.
69- Yoga is something that you can do on your own, with some friends, in a class, indoors, outdoors, at a gym or a health club. It can be done anywhere, even when on vacation.
70- By doing yoga with some friends or in a class, you are getting to spend time with other people, which can help prevent loneliness (which can be a major issue for some as they get older) and encourage an active social life.
71- Those who take part in regular yoga sessions are often shown to have much stronger will power, and can therefore make healthier choices.
72- Yoga helps insomnia, so you can get a good night’s sleep and prevent so many of the insomnia related medical problems.
73- There are many yoga exercises that focus on the arms. Therefore, if you want to strengthen your arms or just help tone them up, yoga is a very good way to do this.
74- As yoga does help improve overall strength you will certainly notice it when you do the weekly shopping that that bag of groceries is not as heavy as it used to be!
75- Poor posture can result in all kinds or nagging aches and pains that make living everyday life a struggle. Yoga poses help improve posture, which also improves lung and respiratory system health in aging adults.
76- Yoga creates flexibility and provides a path to greater comfort and far better performance later in life.
77- Regular yoga sessions will give your energy levels a boost and you will find that you have more energy than you have in years.
78- Yoga has been scientifically proven to lower bad cholesterol while raising good cholesterol!
79- Heart disease is something that many people in their 50’s and older worry about. However, as yoga helps your cholesterol levels and improves blood circulation, you are giving your body a real good chance at fighting off heart disease.
80- As yoga keeps your muscles, joints, core and spine in top condition, you will find that over time all those little aches and pains you used to have will go away.
81- Yoga increases the lung’s capacity to breathe since the mind’s attention focuses greatly on the breath during yoga poses. This boosts the body’s ability to take in more air, which increases energy to all the cells in the body allowing for increased energy and “get up and go” as we age.
82- Yoga builds awareness to all that is going on within the body. It trains you to identify needs, every sensation, slouching, anxiety, depression, onset of stress and much more so that you can make healthy choices.
83- Yoga is a 100% natural treatment to lower anxiety and it brings lasting results.
84- Yoga has been proven to be one of the best forms of exercise at helping a person keep their memory and mind sharp.
85- Yoga can reduce the visual signs of aging, such as wrinkles. It does so indirectly by providing calm, reducing stress and improving sleep, all of which promote skin health.
86- Yoga can greatly boost digestion to help keep your bowel movements regular.
87- Yoga calms the mind, teaches acceptance and allows you to better handle stress in your life, which can be of great help in dealing with any age related chronic conditions.
88- Those who practice yoga regularly enjoy an inner calmness and a much more positive view of life and the world in general, which thereby helps improve quality of life and relationships.
89- Yoga helps maintain healthy blood sugars levels for diabetes conditions.
90- You are only as young as you feel is something that you have probably heard many, many times but by taking part in yoga sessions a few times a week, you will find that your body and mind really does feels great.
91- Because of the way that yoga works your muscles and joints, everyday things like getting up off a chair, in and out of bed or just going up and down the stairs will be much easier thanks to yoga.
92- Those who regularly practice yoga tend to be far calmer, and able to deal with stressors, which can help when facing any late life issues, like divorce or the death of a spouse.
93- Yoga helps to shed flab on the body, as it stretches the fascia under the skin to make it more springy and flexible.
94- Yoga can be easily added to a well-rounded fitness routine that includes more rigorous forms of exercise.
95- While it cannot cure multiple sclerosis, yoga has been proven to help people deal with it.
96- If you have suffered an injury that prevents you from lifting weights, but you still want to retain your strength, yoga can give your muscles a good workout without the stress and strain that weight training puts on your muscles.
97- There are so many yoga books, DVD’s, and websites that it is very easy to do yoga from the comfort of your own home.
98- Yoga does not just have many physical and mental benefits. It also helps on a spiritual level as well.
99- Yoga can help with fears of aging, as it is a practice that brings you back to yourself, and towards awareness and acceptance.
100- One very big benefit of yoga for people over 50 is that it can be something of a social experience, as loneliness and isolation often befall the older generation. Yoga can get you out of the house where you can meet new people in addition to getting a good workout.