The COVID-19 pandemic has brought us face to face with many unfamiliar challenges. Consequently, the past year has left many people feeling stressed, anxious, and depressed. If you’re a family caregiver, we have a suggestion that may alleviate COVID-19 stress for you and your loved one: yoga.
A mind-body practice that combines controlled breathing, meditation or relaxation, and physical poses, yoga is known to manage and improve anxiety. In the short term, yoga helps with deep breathing and muscle relaxation. Long term, the development of a mind-body connection can help promote a sense of control.
The health benefits of yoga are well-documented. It reduces stress and anxiety, promoting an overall sense of well-being, and also improves balance, flexibility, range of motion, and strength. It can help reduce risk factors for chronic diseases like heart disease and high blood pressure, and help people manage pain. In some cases, it can even help relieve the symptoms of chronic conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, arthritis, and insomnia.
It makes sense, then, that yoga for seniors would be beneficial. What makes yoga different from other stretching exercises for seniors is the added component of meditation. The benefits of meditation have to do with mindfulness. Meditation can reduce and control blood pressure, improve immune system function, alleviate muscle tension, and lower the risk of diseases like diabetes and hypertension. Further benefits of mindfulness exercise for seniors include:
Pain management: The physical perception of pain is linked to the mind, so people who are experiencing stress will feel more pain. Mindful meditation helps control pain, as you focus on breathing and how your body feels in the moment. Chair yoga for seniors is a particularly good way to help manage joint pain.
Lowering signs of memory loss: Meditation increases an enzyme called telomerase that can help reduce progressive diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Increasing attention span: Recent studies indicate that meditation can potentially prevent age-related mental decline, because it improves the strength and endurance of the attention span.
Improving sleep: Sleep meditation and the practice of using guided meditation to fall asleep can promote healthier sleeping habits and help you sleep more deeply.
At BrightStar Care, we know that caring for a family member can be challenging, and we want to help you find healthy ways to manage your stress. That’s one reason we work hard to deliver the right care for your loved one and to be a partner you can turn to for support. Because we believe that caring is more than just a job, our nurses, therapists, CNAs, and caregivers offer the most professional compassionate care available. In the comforting, familiar surroundings of home, we offer a full range of care services to meet your loved one’s needs and help you when you need it most.