5 Easy Yoga Poses Seniors Can Add To Their Exercise Routine
Exercising throughout our older years can keep us healthy and able to continue our favourite physical hobbies and activities right through retirement. There are many ways to exercise without heading out to the gym, including in the comfort of your own house or retirement home.
One excellent form of low-impact exercise that is less intense and easy to go at your own pace is yoga. Yoga has many health benefits for those over 50, including improved balance, flexibility, respiratory function, even stress management and reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
And while starting a new yoga practice can be intimidating -- there are so many poses and schools, and there is an adjustment period as our bodies get used to yoga -- the range of seniors’ yoga postures means you can start easy, without trying to turn your body into a pretzel. Like all exercise routines, if you’re not sure if your body is ready then please consult a doctor beforehand.
Here are 5 easy yoga poses seniors can try out (with some helpful how-to videos).
Mountain pose is great to counteract a tendency to slouch. Standing upright and tall with your big toes and heels touching, draw in your abdominal area while relaxing your shoulders down and to the back. Take five or so breaths while keeping your leg muscles engaged.
Tree pose is very helpful in improving balance and leg strength. Stand tall with feet together, and slowly lift your right foot, and place the bottom of your foot on the inside of your left leg, with your right knee sticking out. This can be difficult for beginners, but you can modify tree pose by resting your foot on the ankle. Don’t be afraid to hold onto a chair or wall to steady your balance. Lift your arms above your head and point your fingertips upwards. Hold the pose for 20 to 30 seconds.
Downward Dog Pose
This is a good default yoga post that is easy to do and is great for joint health. However, downward dog should not be done by those with wrist issues. Begin on your hands and knees, setting your knees directly below your hips and hands slightly ahead of shoulders. Lift your knees away from the floor while keeping knees slightly bent, pulling your tailbone up and making your body into the shape of a triangle.
Low Lunge Pose
Low lunge pose is excellent for stretching out your muscles and releasing tension. Stand with feet placed hip-width apart with arms at your sides. Step your left foot forward, bending your left knee until it is over your left ankle. Lower your right knee down to the ground, tucking your back toe under, so the sole of your right foot is facing up. If this is too hard on your back knee, modify it by placing a towel under your knee. Breathing in, raise your arms over your head with fingertips pointing up. Breathe for about 30 seconds, then switch legs.
Sphinx pose focuses your upper back and is an easy exercise to do for upper back strength without being high-intensity. While lying on your stomach, place your forearms ahead of you on the mat with elbows position under your shoulders. As you press into your arms, draw your shoulder blades together and down your upper back. Now, pull your upper body up and hold for five or so breathes.
If you are interested in taking your retirement home exercise regime to the next level, you may be interested in working out in a dedicated exercise room. At Sundial Lakeview Retirement Residence in beautiful Orillia, we have a fully equipped exercise facility to make sure our residents are able to maintain their physical health and enjoy life as much as possible. If you’re curious to see our exercise facility for yourself, feel free to book a tour today and ask us any questions you have.