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Yoga and Your Elderly Parent

Home Care in Sonoma CA

While nutritious eating and exercise are the hallmarks of a healthy lifestyle, many seniors find that as their bodies change, their ability to perform certain exercises diminishes.  Arthritis, diabetesHome-Care-in-Sonoma-CA or cardiovascular disease may play a part in slowing down their exercise routine and leave them home in their recliner more than is healthy for body or mind. With the advent of limiting diseases, many seniors are turning to gentle, yet effective, forms of exercise. One growing in popularity and offered at most senior community centers, the local YMCA, or gym is yoga.

Different Types

Many elderly may look at the picture of a person doing yoga who has their calf wrapped around their head and think, You’ve got to be kidding me.   There are many different styles of yoga, including hatha, Iyengar and bikram. Some require movements that a contortionist would aspire to, while others are much more beginner friendly. When starting out, be sure to check with your parent’s health care provider and encourage them to start out with one of the many classes designed specifically for seniors.

Benefits

Yoga has been around for thousands of years. It consists of specific postures that are held for a certain length of time and sometimes progress from one into the other. Controlled breathing is an important part of the movements. It has been found to be beneficial with ailments such as arthritis, chronic pain and heart disease. It also improves respiration.  A study conducted on a 12-week yoga program and elderly women found a significant improvement in their respiratory function.  In addition to these benefits, yoga has been shown to reduce high blood pressure and anxiety. Regular yoga practice reduces the sympathetic nervous system’s flight-or fight response. This stress response is important in life-threatening conditions. The tiger is about to pounce, your body stops digestion, dilates pupils, and increases blood pressure and lung capacity in the advent that the choice is to flee. Unfortunately, this stress response is triggered on a daily bases in our modern day society when fear or worry strikes. In turn, it leads to high blood pressure, atherosclerosis and anxiety, to name a few of its negative effects.

Practicing

The benefits of yoga are cumulative. If it feels awkward at first, encourage your loved one to keep at it. With practice, your parent will find it increasing their physical fitness and quieting a stressful mind.  Knowing the benefits, you may consider joining your parent for yoga instruction. If you find it difficult to fit into your schedule, consider obtaining the services of a home care provider who can help with the daily tasks of living, freeing up some of your time. It’s important for the caregiver to care for themselves as well as their parent.

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Sonoma, CA, call At Your Service Home Care.  Call today! Sonoma County: (707) 238-5700 or Marin County: (415) 942-8955

 

Resources

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25713658

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3193654/