Yoga For Older Adults – 6 Amazing Health Benefits

One of the extraordinary things about practicing yoga is that yoga strengthens all different areas of the body: heart, lungs, muscles, joints and nervous system. Yoga can improve the digestive system, delivering oxygen to all our body systems bringing them to a healthier state, and it helps our psychological well-being. Yoga unfolds the layers of tension, the layers of old stories that we carry around with us, and it releases the barriers that we’ve lived with all of these years.

Stresses in older adults may show up in the form of muscle tension to the point of pulling the bones out of alignment, illness, organ injury or changes, energy or circulation blockages. But deep inside each person there is a spark. A quest for truth. The truth of what the inner self desires to move toward, and the truth of what the self is really capable of. Truth moves us toward health. Physical, mental, spiritual health.

Studies have shown that people who practice yoga show signs of improved health. I have found that the older adults who attend my class experience less pain, more range of motion in the joints and a greater sense of well being.

6 Amazing Health Benefits for the Older Adult

Consistent practice lowers the pulse (heart rate): A slower pulse means that the heart is strong enough to pump more blood, with fewer beats. (becomes more efficient)
Yoga improves blood circulation: By efficiently transporting nutrients and oxygen throughout your body, yoga practice provides healthier organs, skin, and brain.
Decreased Blood Pressure: The blood pressure often decreases with a consistent yoga practice due to more efficient blood circulation and oxygenation of the body.
Decreased Respiratory Rate: A slower rate of breathing (respiratory rate) indicates that the lungs are working more efficiently during and after exercise. Yoga decreases the respiratory rate through a combination of controlled breathing exercises and better fitness.
Balanced work outs: Yoga provides a balanced workout of opposing muscle groups, all through graceful posture. This maintains balance and symmetry.
Arthritis Relief: The slow, deliberate movement of yoga poses coupled with the gentle pressure exerted on the joints allows additional lubrication in the joints. This lubrication and gentle stretching helps to relieve arthritis symptoms, and provides a greater range of motion over time

This is just a small sample of benefits for older adults. Yoga provides these same benefits and more for any age, from 3yrs – 103yrs. It is a wonderful way to rest, relax and restore. It provides a stillness and quietness within that often will lead to great insights, and greater strengths.

“Your hand opens and closes, and opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as bird wings.” Rumi

Physical Activity and the Older Adult – Why Exercise is So Important As We Age

Millions of older adults suffer from chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer and high blood pressure that can be prevented or improved through regular physical activity. Regular physical activity has beneficial effects on most (if not all) organ systems, and consequently prevents a broad range of health problems and diseases. Beneficial effects due to physical activity that are supported by scientific evidence include: lower overall mortality, lower risk of coronary heart disease, decreased risk of diabetes and high blood pressure, lower risk of obesity, improved mood and relief of depressive symptoms, improved quality of life and improved functioning, and lower risk of falls and injury.

So, what type of physical activity is recommended for older adults? At least thirty minutes of moderate activity, such as brisk walking, on five or more days of the week has been shown effective. However, even brief episodes of physical activity, such as ten minutes at a time, is helpful. For sedentary persons, a gradual increase in the duration or intensity of activity is recommended.

Activities aimed at building or maintaining muscle strength and balance will help adults as they age. As we get older, we lose twenty to forty percent of our muscle and strength. The cause is not just aging itself. We tend to stop doing those everyday activities that use muscle power. Programs aimed at building muscle strength and improving balance have been shown to significantly reduce falls (the number one killer of older adults) and bone fractures. Most importantly, increased strength can improve your ability to live independently.

Resistance training is exercise that develops the strength and endurance of large muscle groups. Biceps curls with hand-held weights is an example of this type of exercise for the arm. Elastic tubing with handles or exercise machines also provide resistance training.

Here are some tips to keep in mind before beginning resistance exercises:

Warm up the large muscles of your body and avoid holding your breath when using your muscles.
Exhale during muscle exertion; inhale during relaxation. For example, if you are lifting something, breathe out on the lift; breathe in on the release.
Add weight to your workout gradually as your muscles become stronger.
Avoid strength training workouts for the same muscle group on two consecutive days.
Rest and give your muscles a chance to recover.
Stretch joints and muscles through a full range of movement after exercising.
Research shows the biggest improvements are in the first few months.

An ideal exercise program for older adults is one that, with the aid of certified instructors trained in working with older age groups, focuses on improving strength, flexibility, balance and coordination. Participants should always check with their doctor before beginning any exercise regimen.

(Sources: National Institute on Aging; American College of Sports Medicine’s Strategic Health Initiative on Aging; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Gillespie, Gillespie, Robinson et al., 2002).

The Healthways SilverSneakersĀ® Fitness program is the nation’s leading exercise program designed exclusively for older adults and offers an innovative blend of physical activity, healthy lifestyle and socially-oriented programming. SilverSneakers is available to millions of Medicare-eligible members in all 50 states, DC and Puerto Rico at more than 9,400 participating locations.

SilverSneakers members receive a full, basic membership -often at no cost- to any participating locations and have access to Muscular Strength & Range of Movement classes with a certified instructor. There, they are led through a variety of exercises designed to increase activity and improve daily living skills. Hand-held weights, elastic tubing with handles, and a ball are offered for resistance, and a chair is available for seated and/or standing support.

Dental Health Is a Direct Connection to General Health

Not that long ago oral hygiene was not considered anything important to one’s overall general health. Dental health and oral hygiene is as important as other things in our body. Their proper functioning can avoid lots of complications and if a problem occurs, then many of the tasks be stopped.

Apart from adding up to your beauty and smile by maintaining your teeth, it is also important for your health as dirty and pale teeth can result in many complications like intestinal problems, stomach problems and more.

They can also look good and smell good, likewise if you have maintained them well. In order to look after your teeth well, your teeth be clean of germs and debris that can make them look faded and yellow. Your gums along with your teeth if perfectly healthy they should not bleed while brushing as unhealthy gums bleed as well as hurt. So, if your gums and teeth are in perfect health they won’t bleed, hurt or have any bad breath.

Brushing and Cleaning

Proper brushing is the fundamental step to take to have clean and healthy teeth. There are many people who are not aware of the basic steps in cleaning and brushing teeth. Brushing requires 2 minutes time and it is important that at least this amount of time is given. You should reach with the toothbrush all areas of your mouth and brush all the teeth, paying special focus on back teeth, corner teeth, around the gum-line teeth etc.

Teeth cleaning and brushing helps you to clean your teeth off debris, plaque and bacteria and to make them look shiny, sparkling and white. Brushing the teeth right means brushing up and down and not long site of teeth and gums. The up and down movement with the brush will allow the bristles of the brush in between the teeth to remove any food particles. This will prevent many teeth ailments like gingivitis, cavities or dental caries, periodontal ailments etc.

Toothpaste!

Selecting toothpaste at random is a problem and a health concern. Chemicals in toothpaste make many people sick, most of the time not realizing the connection. There be hardly any toothpaste you can find of the shelf that are chemical free.

To find a toothpaste that is one hundred percent free of artificial flavor, color, sugar, sweetener, and toxic chemicals would be almost as hard as picking the winning lotto numbers. There is one well-known brand name made in China; this one is even worse than most of the others. Stay well clear from it. Most people are not aware of chemical sensitivity and those with allergies, diabetes etc. what effect this can have.

Dental Health Does Affect General Health

Most of us understand that poor dental health can cause gum disease, gingivitis, mouth sores, buildup of plaque and tooth loss. It doesn’t stop here; bad oral hygiene can lead to many other serious health issues. We should not underestimate, oral health is about much more. It can cause cardiovascular disease and blood disorder. Bacteria from the mouth can get into the blood stream, cause infection spreading throughout the body. Infection of the gum can interfere with brain cells and lead to memory loss.

Because of inflammation caused from gum disease, this can trigger rheumatoid arthritis, which is painful and is a debilitating inflammatory disease. As well it can affect kidneys, blood pressure, bones and weaken the immune system. As bacteria travels through the bloodstream, it can cause respiratory infection and infect lungs causing bronchitis and pneumonia.

Some other studies and information claim that cancer is also triggered by root canal. Evidence shows when cancer patients get the root-canal removed the recovery rate, when treated for cancer, is by far greater and the patient gets better. Although, the cause of the problem shouldn’t be ignored and treated first, before treating the symptom. As with oral health, it’s a well-known fact that oral health affect’s much more than just your mouth. Inflammation in the gums or toxic pockets in the jaw can destroy the immune system almost completely.

4 Impossibly Simple Dental Hygiene Tips for Everyday

Everyone wants to have that fantastic toothpaste-model smile. Did you know that getting such a smile is not all that difficult? Sometimes all that is needed is to maintain high levels of oral hygiene. All dental problems- at least a majority of them- are as a result of poor dental care. These issues could be anything from gum disease, bone loss, heart disease and so much more. Checkups and proper hygiene can prevent these issues. Here are some simple dental hygiene tips that you can employ to ensure that you keep your teeth healthy for years to come. They are exactly what you know:

1. Brushing

This is one of the simplest ways of maintaining oral hygiene. If you are brushing your teeth, you need to place your brush at an angle of 45 degrees close the gum line. The gum line and tooth surface must be in contact with the bristles. On the outer surface of the teeth using a backward -forward, up-and -down motion, making sure to be done gently to evade bleeding.

In order to clean the inside surfaces of the teeth and gums, place the bristles at a 45-degree angle and repeat the backward forward, up-and-down motion. Finally, the brush surfaces of your tongue and the roof of your mouth to remove bacteria, which may lead to bad breath. Brushing your teeth twice a day helps you to curb buildup of bacteria. If you cannot do this, rinse your mouth with water after eating to reduce the amount of food that would serve as the home for the bacteria.

2. Flossing your teeth.

Flossing can help you remove food particles and other damaging substances that regular brushing of teeth cannot. It enables one to reach between the teeth where toothbrush bristles cannot reach or mouthwash can’t wash away. It is recommended that you floss your teeth once in a day.

3. Reduce tobacco intake

This will help your teeth a lot. First, it will save you from oral cancer and periodontal diseases. Second, it will put away all the many horrible side effects caused by agents used to mask the smell of tobacco. For instance, when you smoke a cigarette, you are highly likely to use candy, tea or coffee to mask the smoky breath and odor from getting out. This increases the harm created.

4. Use mouth wash apart from brushing and flossing

They are not important and not all are effective. They contain Listerine and carbon dioxide is very helpful because they help exterminate and preserve the bacteria in your mouth. Mouth wash can help sustain well-built teeth. However, mouth wash goes hand in hand with brushing, flossing, visiting the dentist and eating well, it is just the thing that will improve your dental strength and make it grand.

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