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5 Benefits of Chair Yoga for Seniors

One of the best ways to maintain muscle strength, flexibility, and vitality as we age is to just keep moving. Unfortunately, for many, that becomes more difficult as physical limitations like joint pain and fatigue become a barrier to a healthy lifestyle. Fortunately, there is a great way to keep moving without putting too much strain on joints and muscles. Chair yoga is an enjoyable, effective, and low-impact activity that can improve health and well-being.

If you’re familiar with yoga, you may know that this ancient practice has many different difficulty levels, and it can feel daunting for someone new to the idea. This is especially true of seniors. Luckily, yoga has exercises for everyone—even moves that can be done in a chair. Thanks to chair yoga, anyone at any age and ability can reap healthy rewards.

What is Chair Yoga?

As the name suggests, it’s a form of yoga that can be practiced while sitting in a chair or using a chair for support. It uses more gentle yoga poses with an easy and gradual flow. All of this makes it a good alternative for seniors and those who:

  • Have mobility issues
  • Have arthritis and experience joint pain
  • Are at risk of falling due to vision impairment
  • Can’t stand or hold a position for long periods
  • Have balance issues, vertigo, or have had a stroke

5 Benefits of Chair Yoga  

  1. Improves Circulation

A sedentary lifestyle can quickly lead to poor circulation, which can create a number of health issues. Poor circulation can cause numbness in extremities, cold fingers and toes, and the pins and needles sensation on the skin. If left untreated, it could even lead to more serious issues like blood clots.

Chair yoga improves circulation by compressing and decompressing the veins in our legs through gentle movement and using gravity to expel stagnant blood and reverse blood flow. In other words, movement brings more oxygenated blood to the organs and helps move waste, such as CO2, out of the body. As they say, in with the good, out with the bad!

  1. Low Impact on Joints

Joint problems such as arthritis can create a vicious cycle of pain in seniors. Moving can be difficult and painful, but movement is one of the best things you can do for your joints. They say, “Motion is lotion for the joints.”

With chair yoga, you can move those joints gently with as little pain as possible. This can help relieve pain over time, and it can also help strengthen the muscles around the joints to create better stability.

  1. Improves Balance

Balance is another issue that many seniors struggle with. Unfortunately, this can also lead to falls which, in turn, can lead to severe problems such as broken bones. Balance is even more important later in life because of bone loss that many older adults experience.

Chair yoga can improve balance and help reduce the risk of falls. The awareness of your body’s motions in space is known as proprioception. With chair yoga, you transition between different poses, which helps to improve postural control through general balance and coordination.

  1. Prevents Depression and Anxiety

Unfortunately, depression and anxiety in seniors can be a serious issue. Not only are they dealing with the chronic aches and pains of aging, but they are also dealing with anxiety associated with aging.

When you exercise, hormones called endorphins are released, which not only improve your mood but also help to relieve pain. Additionally, chair yoga teaches you how to manage pain by focusing on your breathing.

  1. Aids with Pain Management

Pain management can be a tricky proposition as we age. Anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen and NSAIDs, such as Tylenol, can help with pain but cause other issues if taken for prolonged periods.

Chair yoga helps with pain management because it keeps joint tissues supple and relieves pain caused by strain. Movement encourages the flow of synovial fluid, which helps to lubricate the joints and ease discomfort.

These are just a few of the many ways that chair yoga can benefit seniors. This simple yet effective technique can bring the gift of physical and mental wellness that will help enhance your retirement years.

At Jacaranda Trace we’re dedicated to our members’ wellness. Our complete wellness program and full physical fitness calendar give our members many engaging ways to stay active—making aging well, easy and fun. To learn more about the Jacaranda Trace independent living community, schedule a private appointment.