Yoga emphasizes on breathing practices and meditation, both of which help center and calm the mind. It is not surprising that this activity offers many mental benefits such as reduced feelings of depression and anxiety. What may be even more shocking is that yoga can actually help your brain to work better. Find out more about the correlation between yoga and older adults’ mental health.
When weightlifting, you get to build stronger and bigger muscles. In yoga, your brain cells build new connections to change their brain structure and function. This can result in improved cognitive skills such as memory and learning. Yoga also strengthens parts of the brain that play a major role in attention, memory, thinking, awareness, and language. Think of yoga as weightlifting but for the brain.
All exercises can help to boost your mood as they lower levels of stress hormones and thus increasing the production of endorphins which are feel-good chemicals. All these take place while more oxygen gets pumped into your brain. Yoga may also have additional benefits such as elevating levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid which is a brain chemical that is associated with decreased anxiety and better mood.
Better Stress Management
Meditation also helps to lower activity in the limbic system which is a section of the brain that is dedicated to emotions. This will help you to better manage stressful situations. Stress can reveal itself in different ways such as neck or back pain, headaches, sleeping problems, and an inability to focus. Yoga incorporates both breathing and meditation to help improve your mental well-being. Practicing yoga regularly will also create calmness and mental clarity while also relieving chronic stress patterns.
Research suggests that yoga can help to improve sleep. This is important for older adults. In a study, it was reported that participants over the age of 60 experienced an improvement in both the quality and quantity of their sleep. They also slept more efficiently which was measured through the percentage of the time they actually spent sleeping.
Yoga can help to reduce anxiety. Its breath training is especially effective as there is a connection between breathing problems and anxiety. If you have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, you may try yoga to supplement other types of therapy.
Studies have shown that yoga can help to ease depression. Researchers have found that yoga is comparable to other treatments like psychotherapy and medication. Yoga is much less expensive and does not cause the same side effects as drugs. Yoga also benefits those with major depressive disorder. However, to date, the use of yoga for the treatment of depression still requires more study as there have been not many trials that are controlled.
Person-Centered Memory Care
At TerraBella Asheboro, we offer our memory care residents a wide lineup of daily activities that stimulate their minds and keep their bodies active. They can look forward to getting the specialized care they need to help improve their quality of life so as to maintain good physical and mental health. Contact us to find out more.