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Aging Gracefully with Yoga

Written by Dr. Minakshi Welukar.

Aging, a process of growing old is natural and hence unavoidable. As aging comes across with numerous health problems, mental disturbances and social distraction, it becomes the most annoying part of everyone's life. All these issues interfere with daily routine of a person and make life more cumbersome.

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Besides this improper nutrition, lack of exercise, poor-quality sleep, memory loss, vision defect, hearing problems, disability's associated limitation of activities, side-effects of medicine, economic insecurities, and social isolation and feeling of closer to the death make the old age more baffling.

Many studies have found that yoga and meditation addresses old age issues and does well in improving the quality of life as well as increasing longevity in older people.

Deal with Chronic Diseases

Regular yoga practice takes care of risk factors associated with chronic diseases during old age, and so such diseases are easier to keep at bay.

Yoga practice is more effective in controlling high blood pressure level, normalizing blood sugar and cholesterol profile and reducing body weight. All such factors assist to ward off heart diseases, diabetes, and stroke and associated complications.

Specific asanas performed during yoga stretch the joints and attached muscles and allow smooth and painless joint movements and thus ease the pain of arthritis.

Breathing exercises, stretching and spinal movements of yoga increase the strength and efficiency of the breathing muscles and enhance the exercise tolerance and hence useful in chronic breathing problems such as bronchitis.

Cope with Mental Disturbances

Mental disturbances such as stress, depression or anxiety, are great issues in old age. Yoga is known to improved mood, energy, fatigue and well-being.

According to Harvard Health Publication, yoga modulates stress response system within a body by reducing perceived stress and anxiety. This minimizes the physiological arousal such as increased heart rate, high blood pressure and fast breathing.

Laughter yoga, a combination of unconditioned laughter and yogic breathing, is found to decrease depression and increase life satisfaction among elderly depressed women reported on Pubmed.

Treat Memory Loss

Memory loss or dementia becomes serious when it hampers the quality of life of a person. Memory loss in old age may be the indication of Alzheimer's or related neurological diseases. Until now, there is no effective treatment modality for memory loss.

Yoga and meditation technique claims to improve the brain functions by increasing blood circulation and oxygenation. Calm and clear mind favours concentration, attention, visual perception and processing of sensory information. All of these factors treat memory loss effectively.

Prevent Fall

Improper balancing, weakness, chronic diseases and poor vision increases chances of fall in elderly. Fall can lead to minor trauma to major fracture causing severe disability and subsequently dependency.

Yoga poses stretches joints and muscles and creates balance in the body. Moreover, yoga makes a body stronger and flexible. Apart from them, yoga helps in improving clarity, concentration, and judgement power of mind controlling the brain impulse to adjust body and prevent from falling.

Induce Quality Sleep

Aging is associated with sleeping trouble and poor sleep induces aging faster.

Yoga is known to improve both quality and quantity of sleep and sense of well-being. Breathing exercises and meditation has relaxing effects on your mind and body, which induces good quality sleep in elder.

Don't consider old age as an awkward but practice yoga and add quality days to your life.

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