Guiding the Way to Health and Well Being at Any Age
Live Light Yoga has been created to bring information, videos, discussions, classes and resources to individuals interested in simple ways to stay happy and healthy through the practice of yoga and meditation.
With small changes we can make a tremendous impact in maintaining our health as we age.
Six simple steps to maintain health, fitness and well-being as you age
The importance of living a healthy lifestyle
By including these simple activities into your day you can begin to create healthy habits that will help maintain health, fitness and well-being.
Live an active life
Regular exercise is one of the greatest keys to physical and mental wellbeing. Living an active life will help you stay fit enough to maintain your independence to go where you want to and perform your own activities. Regular exercise may prevent or even provide relief from many common chronic conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, depression, and arthritis, to name a few.
The most important thing is to keep moving.
2. Eat healthy foods
The majority of adults in the US consume more than double the recommended daily allowance of sodium, which can lead to hypertension and cardiovascular disease; most of this high sodium intake comes from pre-packaged foods and restaurants.
Eat nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods. Avoid sweet, salty, and highly processed foods. Keep in mind that each person has different dietary needs – follow your doctor’s suggestions regarding dietary restrictions
3. Get enough sleep
Humans can go longer without food than without sleep. Older adults need just as much sleep as younger adults – seven to nine hours per night – but often get much less. Lack of sleep can cause depression, irritability, increased fall risk, and memory problems.
Some techniques to help you get enough sleep are: 1) Develop a regular schedule with a bedtime routine. 2) Keep your bedroom dark and noise-free— avoid watching television or surfing the internet while in bed. 3) Stay away from caffeine late in the day 4) Practice calming yoga poses and breathing techniques before settling into bed.
4. Reduce stress
As we age, our stressors change and so does our ability to deal with stress. Long-term stress can damage brain cells and lead to depression. Stress may also cause memory loss, fatigue, and decreased ability to fight off and recover from infection. In fact, it is estimated that more than 90% of illness is either caused or complicated by stress.
Although we cannot entirely avoid stressful situations, we can learn better techniques to cope with stress. Take care of yourself when you are stressed by getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating nutritious foods. Talk to a loved one or counselor about your stress, and try some relaxation techniques, such as circular breathing, yoga, or meditation. Remember to always keep things in perspective – try to accept and adapt to the things you cannot control.
5. Exercise your brain
One in eight older adults (aged 65+) in the United States has Alzheimer’s disease, and some cognitive decline is a normal part of aging. Studies have shown that a lifestyle that includes cognitive stimulation through active learning slows cognitive decline.
Never stop learning and challenging your mind! Take dance lessons, learn a new language, attend lectures at a local university, learn to play a musical instrument, read a book. Practice meditation which has been shown to improve mental clarity, concentration and focus.
6. Cultivate your relationships
Twenty-eight percent of older adults live alone, and living alone is the strongest risk factor for loneliness. Common life changes in older adulthood, such as retirement, health issues, or the loss of a spouse, may lead to social isolation.
It is important to maintain communication with your family and friends, especially after a significant loss or life change. Schedule regular time to meet with friends and family – over coffee, during a weekly shared meal, or around a common interest. Reach out to friends who might be isolated or feel lonely.
Benefits of Yoga
10 Health Benefits of Yoga
Flexibility: Contrary to what you might believe, you don’t have to be flexible to start doing yoga. Regardless of age or weight, practicing yoga poses and incorporating the breathing techniques of yoga, you will find your flexibility begins to improve and you are able to do more and more poses over time.
Strength: The beauty of yoga is that no weights or machines have to be used because your own body is the weight through which you build your strength. Through a variety of poses yoga helps to build muscles in key areas of the body, including the arms, the abdomen and the legs.
Posture: Because yoga is so effective for strengthening the core muscles in the abdomen, as well as muscles in the back, most people realize improved posture which protects from back strain and helps you look confident and healthy.
Balance: Balance is a “use it or lose it” skill needs to be practiced in order to not loose the ability. Many yoga practitioners report that after practicing for a few weeks, they are able to improve their balance and hold poses for longer periods of time. Coordination can also improve as you become more balanced, which means you’ll be less likely to injure yourself in other situations.
Circulation: Studies have shown that doing yoga typically leads to better circulation in the body as channels open up through which blood flows. The more efficient your body is when it comes to circulation, the better equipped it will be to transport nutrients and oxygen throughout your body each and every day. This results in a wide variety of healthy benefits, including lower blood pressure and healthier organs.
Endurance: Because yoga can lower your heart rate and improve the flow of oxygenated blood throughout the body, yoga can lead to better cardiovascular health and, in turn, improved endurance.
Stress: Because yoga involves a kind of quiet concentration and deep breathing exercises, it typically tends to draw away the stresses of the day and lead to a more peaceful state. By lowering stress on a regular basis, you can often improve your health and your quality of life.
Energy: One of the key benefits of practicing yoga is that it usually leaves participants feeling energized rather than tired after a workout. Unlike forms of exercise that involve extreme physical exertion and sweating that can leave you feeling drained, yoga’s slow and deliberate movements deliver a good workout without using up all of your energy.
Weight: Yoga helps to increase your metabolism while also providing a calming, low-impact workout. That’s why yoga is a great way to start shedding extra pounds and start leading a healthier lifestyle.
Chronic Conditions: Some people with chronic conditions find that yoga helps to keep their symptoms from chronic conditions such as sleeping disorders, cancer, depression and anxiety at bay or relieve some of the pain they experience on a regular basis.
“Yoga does not just change the way we see things, it transforms the person who sees.” —B. K. S. Iyengar
Meditation: A simple, fast way to reduce stress
Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years. It was originally practiced with the intention to help deepen understanding of the sacred and mystical forces of life. These days, meditation is commonly used for relaxation and stress reduction.
Meditation can wipe away the day’s stress, bringing with it inner peace. It is considered a type of mind-body complementary medicine because it produces a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind.
Anyone can practice meditation. It’s simple and inexpensive, and it doesn’t require any special equipment.
And you can practice meditation wherever you are — whether you’re out for a walk, riding the bus, waiting at the doctor’s office or even in the middle of a difficult business meeting.
During meditation, you focus your attention and creating space between thoughts. By eliminating the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress you can enhance physical and emotional well-being.
You may already be practicing meditation without being aware that you are. For instance, if you have a hobby like gardening, painting, cooking, crafting that brings you into a state of full concentration where you are completely absorbed in what you are doing in the moment – you are practicing a form of meditation, a form of being fully present in the moment.
“The highest form of spirituality is self observation without judgment.”
Live Light Yoga
“It is never too late to be what you might have been” — George Eliot —
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