2. Many seniors balk at the thought of entering a room full of yoga practitioners that bend and stretch in various positions. The exercise might just be what seniors need to battle anxiety and depression. A study showed that seniors who practiced yoga and other relaxing activities reduced their anxiety and depression at greater rates compared to those who did not. Fighting Depression and Anxiety There have been many studies on the health benefits of yoga, but researchers focused their attention on seniors battling depression and anxiety. Studies have shown that approximately 40% of seniors report bouts of anxiety and around 15 to 20% experience depression. The researchers analysed 15 studies from the past twenty years that scrutinized different relaxation methods. They studied the efficacy of yoga, massage therapy, music, stress management training, and muscle relaxation techniques. The research revealed yoga and listening to music as the most effective techniques to fight depression and anxiety. Yoga had the longest lasting effects on older adults, as its breathing, mediation, and stretching techniques help fight depression and anxiety for up to six months. The exercise helps negate the effects of aging, improve flexibility and a physical function, delay disability, keeps the mind sharp, and keeps seniors hopeful.
3. By abbreviating perceived anxiety and stress, yoga modulates the way the body responds to stress. This effect reduces physical stimulation, such as lower heart rate and blood pressure, and calmer respiration. Evidence is also strong that yoga helps increase the heart variability rate, a sign of the body’s capability to react positively to stress. Breathing techniques practiced in yoga also provide elders with calming benefits to help them fight anxiety and depression. The benefits of yoga reduce the risk of triggering depression and anxiety in older adults. Many yoga practices are safe, but there are forms of this exercise that are too strenuous for elderly participants. Elders with mobility problems may want to consult with their physician first before participating in a yoga class. Sources: http://www.gameplaysport.com/sports/crossfit http://time.com/3834499/yoga-elderly-depression/ http://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/yoga-for-anxiety-and- depression