15 Anti-Aging Health Benefits of Yoga

While age does affect you in various ways, there’s a lot you can do to limit its impact on your body. Yoga is an excellent anti-aging tool. It is capable of relieving symptoms and in some cases improve medical outcomes. It doesn’t matter where you’re starting from or how old you are. Movement and yoga can help.

Along with smile lines and gray hair, aging brings changes that are harder to see but very easy to feel, especially during movement. As you age, you’ll encounter general physiological changes in elasticity, stability, speed, strength, and endurance, as well as a different perspective on physical goals. Specific health problems emerge as we age, and these age-related illnesses might affect your yoga practice. Here, we offer our thoughts on how to modify your practice for these common ailments, and we detail the ways that (in some cases) yoga can actually relieve symptoms or has been proven to improve medical outcomes. From heart issues to less lung capacity, decreased bone density to hormonal changes, and bad backs to artificial knees, physical changes will affect and dictate the needs of a yoga asana practice, but in all cases, doing yoga will make you feel better.

Bad News

So, as you age, your body becomes less flexible, less stable, slower, weaker, and less competitive in endurance. With age you lose elasticity in your muscle and (as you can see in a mirror) skin. This results in generally less flexibility, which can translate to instability and stiffness. Muscle loss and bone loss are common aspects of aging. Both can contribute to less strength, speed, and endurance. While it does get harder to build muscle with age, it’s not impossible, and it’s never too late. Exercise and yoga help you maintain the muscle mass you have and continue to add more. Whether you suffer from bone loss or not, it may have as much to do with genetics and gender as it does with your physical activity level, but movement and weight-bearing exercises keep bones healthier for longer.

This information probably doesn’t come as a surprise, though; we tend to be well versed in the changes that come with aging, especially as we get older. The good news is that you also have all the attendant wisdom, confidence, and life experience of your years on earth. And let’s be honest: while it might be nice to still have the body of a twenty-one-year-old, we know few people who actually want to be twenty-one again (we certainly don’t!). Besides, the news gets even better: while age does affect you in various ways, much of it is in your hands, and there’s a lot you can do to limit the effect of age-related changes. Yoga is an excellent anti-aging tool. It doesn’t matter where you’re starting from or at what age you begin, movement and yoga can help.

yog pose

 

15 Health Benefits of Yoga for Aging Adults

These 15 Anti-Aging Health Benefits of Yoga that will make you want to start practicing now

1. Osteoporosis/Osteopenia

Problem: As you age, your bone density decreases. For some people, this decrease is so great, it results in osteopenia or osteoporosis, which means their bones are more susceptible to fractures.
How yoga can help: Weight-bearing exercises can marginally increase bone density, although the gains are small. Still, yoga is valuable not only because of its potential effect on your physical skeleton but because it helps you build muscle, body awareness, and better balance.
Tips for your yoga practice: Weight-bearing lunge poses, like Warrior I, Warrior II, and Side Angle Pose, help build hip and leg strength; balancing poses like crane, tree, and Warrior III help protect against falls that can cause fractures in already-brittle bones.

Because bone density loss makes your spine more fragile, be sure to consult your medical practitioner to create a plan of safe movements. Depending on the degree of your osteopenia, it might be wise to limit poses that require folding forward or minimize the degree to which you fold. The same is true of poses that require twisting. Be gentle in approaching movements that cause your spine to rotate, or skip twisting poses all together.

2. Arthritis

Problem: Arthritis can cause daily pain in joints like hands, knees, wrists, or elbows. It can make you feel stiff and creaky, limiting comfortable range of motion.
How yoga can help: Recent research shows that a regular yoga practice can aid in reducing joint pain and help in improving joint flexibility. A regular yoga practice might also reduce inflammation.
Tips for your yoga practice: Avoid weight bearing in your hands and wrists, a common location of arthritis pain.

 

3. Spinal Stenosis

Problem: Spinal stenosis, the narrowing of the spinal canal or vertebral openings, can squeeze your spinal cord and cause radiating pain and numbness that affects your hips, legs, and even your shoulders.
How yoga can help: A yoga practice that cautiously approaches forward folds and side bending and avoids extension (back-bending) poses can help significantly reduce pain.
Tips for your yoga practice: If you have stenosis and osteoporosis, you might avoid forward folds altogether. In general, avoid big, deep movements of the spine. Less is better. Safe yoga, though, can help you build strength and create better postural habits, which can help alleviate chronic pain. An experienced teacher with knowledge of your condition will be a powerful ally.

 

4. Disc issues

Problem: Herniated, bulging, or slipped discs can press on your spinal cord or nearby nerves, causing spasms, limited movement, and radiating pain. Disc issues and back pain are more common in the lower lumbar region but may occur anywhere along the spine.
How yoga can help: Yoga can help you build core strength and flexibility in your spine, and these two things can go a long way toward remedying back pain.
Tips for your yoga practice: If you experience pain from disc issues, often it is best to avoid forward folds or any pose that causes your spine to round, as this can exacerbate the issue by squeezing the disc more. Instead, focus on back-bending poses and poses that challenge your abdominal muscles and strengthen your hips.

 

5. Core Strength and Back Pain

If you’ve ever experienced back pain, you’ve probably been given the advice to strengthen your core. Building up the muscles in your trunk, back, abdomen, hips, and legs means that your spine is better supported.
How yoga can help: Any new movement or exercise that you add to your daily life will likely result in a stronger core; as you move your body in new ways, your major stabilizing muscles have to adapt. Yoga also offers specific poses for core strength.

 

6. Nerve Issues: Pain, Neuropathy

Problem: When nerves are injured, pain, weakness, numbness, cramping, or tingling can occur as a result. In peripheral neuropathy, this often occurs in limbs, hands, feet, fingers, and toes. Nerve issues can result from a myriad of illnesses. Often caused by circulatory system issues, neuropathy also can be a side effect of other diseases or injuries.
How yoga can help: Yoga poses improve circulation; movement alone can help! Body awareness is also key.
Tips for your yoga practice: The more you are aware of what exacerbates or helps with pain or numbness, the better you are at making wise choices with your movement practices. Yoga allows you to explore your body in slow, safe movements. It gives you the opportunity to get to know what works for your nerves. Be sure to move slowly and pay careful attention to your body’s response in each pose.

 

7. Ligament Tears

Problem: Ligament tears are common in aging, stressed, and over-used joints, especially knees, shoulders, hips, and ankles. As we age, we put increasing stress on these joints, which can result in abrasions and tears. If the ligaments give out, or if the joint is degraded, you may find yourself with a replacement.
How yoga can help: Yoga is useful for ligament issues in several ways: First, yoga helps you strengthen the muscles around your joints. Your knees, for instance, will be better protected if your hamstrings, glutes, and quadriceps are strong. Many common yoga lunge poses help keep your legs strong. Yoga is also useful if you are recovering from a ligament tear injury, as it allows you to continue moving even amidst injury.
Tips for your yoga practice: You should choose a gentler practice as you heal, and omit any poses that exacerbate your injury. Finally, yoga is adaptable enough to continue even if you experience a hip or knee replacement. You’ll be able to come back to a yoga practice, and doing yoga after a replacement (with your medical team’s approval) may even speed up the healing process.

8. Tendonitis/Tendonopathy

Problem: Although it’s often a temporary condition, tendon inflammation can cause joint pain and stiffness, and it can also create instability in weight-bearing movements. And as tendons age they can degrade, a condition known as tendonopathy.
How yoga can help: Acute tendonitis generally requires some days of rest. But after allowing time to heal, yoga can be useful in helping establish new movement patterns. Because tendonitis is often caused by repetitive movements, practicing a variety of yoga poses offers you a chance to continue movement.  But in some ways, shoring up the muscles around the tendon gives the inflamed areas a chance to heal.
Tips for your yoga practice: If your health-care team diagnoses tendonopathy, ask which movements are safe and which you should avoid, then follow their directions in your home practice and convey them to your yoga teacher in class. Because of yoga’s adaptability, you will be able to find poses and sequences that continue to work for you.

 

9. Myofascial tightening, stiffness due to decreased collagen

Problem: As we age, we lose flexibility in our muscles and connective tissue, which results in stiffness, imbalance, and less confidence while balancing.
How yoga can help: If you don’t use it, you lose it! A regular yoga practice can help reverse some of that acquired stiffness. Gentle, regular stretching can help keep your body fluid and flexible. We’re often as amazed as our yoga students when we see the changes that habitual stretching and movement can confer. You don’t have to touch your toes, but yoga might get you a little closer to them.

 

10. Hormonal Changes/Hot Flashes

Problem: In women, menopause can bring temperature changes and hot flashes.
How yoga can help: Some studies have shown that a restorative yoga practice can help decrease the hot flashes that can come with hormonal changes.
Tips for your yoga practice: During a yoga class, it can also be helpful to lighten the amount of clothing you’re wearing or dress in layers so that when you feel warm, you can peel off a longer-sleeved shirt. Some yoga classes are warmer than other others. If you plan to attend a class, ask in advance about the temperature of the room.

 

11. Blood pressure

Problem: High blood pressure is one of the most common ailments that affect adults as they age. One in three American adults has high blood pressure. Rapidly transitioning from standing upright to folding forward can exacerbate dizziness, a common symptom of low blood pressure and a side effect of common medications for high blood pressure.
How yoga can help: Some studies show that regular yoga can lower blood pressure, so a routine yoga practice will help.
Tips for your yoga practice: As you move, avoid transitions that put your head below your heart, and opt out of sequences that require you to move quickly from standing to forward folding.

 

12. Asthma

Problem: Age-related lung changes can aggravate asthma, so as you age, bouts of asthma may increase.
How yoga can help: If your asthma is provoked by exercise, yoga is a good fit, since with yoga your heart rate stays relatively low.
Tips for your yoga practice: Keep in mind that in some classes yoga teachers use essential oils or incense to enhance the students’ experience. While this is a lovely intention, if you are asthmatic, strong scents can be triggering. It’s appropriate to ask in advance if these types of scents will be used in class and to request that they be omitted. Calling ahead to verify this may be the wisest choice.

 

13. Chronic Bronchitis, Emphysema, COPD

Problem: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, and emphysema make breathing very challenging and limit your ability to do cardiovascular activities.
How yoga can help: Yoga is low impact. For this reason, it is a useful movement practice if you have COPD or similar respiratory problems. Additionally, a yoga practice often has pranayama, or breath practices. Focusing on inhaling and exhaling can be useful if you have a chronic breathing problem, since breathing exercises can potentially help strengthen muscles used in respiration. Time spent in mindful breathing can also help you have more awareness of your breath; noticing when you get breathless or when you feel short of breath can help you seek treatment quickly.

14. Insomnia and Sleep Issues

Problem: Night wakefulness or restlessness may disrupt sleep.
How yoga can help:Intentional, slow breathing can foster a sense of relaxation and calm. A slow yoga and stretching routine before bed can help encourage drowsiness and tranquility. In fact, studies show that yoga can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Exercise of any type helps tire us out and promotes exhaustion, which can lead to better quality sleep.

 

15. Chronic Illness

Problem: Chronic illness can cause pain and hopelessness and may create limitations to practicing yoga.
How yoga can help: Yoga can be effective as a pain-management tool for painful diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. Since yoga is so adaptable, it can be practiced in a chair or in a hospital bed. It may also be a helpful meditative tool for those diagnosed with a terminal illness.

The Yoga Rule You Need to Follow

The Yoga Sutras contain bits of wisdom and yoga philosophy. This text is one of the earliest yoga books. Regarding yoga poses, the sutras don’t say much. Yoga sutra 2.46 tells us simply that yoga poses should be steady and comfortable. Knowing that this is the only prescription for the poses frees us from feeling like our yoga practice has to look a certain way. A yoga student can do a handstand, or not; a lunge, or not; a balance pose, or not. Your practice is your practice. Find strength and ease, and do what works for you.

 

Source: yogajournal

CBD Oil For Smooth, Blooming, And More Beautiful Skin

CBD beautiful-beauty-blouse

According to who you talk to, cannabis can either be the miracle cure for almost any ailment in existence or it can be the work of the devil that will chew you up and spit out a complete drug addict. It’s interesting to consider how a plant became one of the most talked-about topics in history, and even more enthralling when you come to learn of its medicinal benefits, some of which have already been scientifically proven. Over the past few years, we have seen more funding being pumped into the research of alternative medicines, namely CBD, and the passage of the farm bill last year means that hemp-derived products are now completely legal to purchase and consume.

CBD oil has stolen the spotlight and graced the pages of several health and wellness publications and more dermatologists and luxury skincare brands are including CBD as a primary ingredient in their decadent lotions and potions and the medical industry is also becoming more open to the use of CBD to help treat issues like pain and anxiety.

If you are reaching an age where spending significant amounts of money on preserving your smooth and youthful skin is the norm, then CBD oil could be the perfect investment for you. It is rich in antioxidants, vitamins to help slow the signs of aging and it also gets rid of redness and swelling thanks to its strong anti-inflammatory properties. CBD is one of the biggest buzzwords in the beauty industry right now and it’s only a matter of time before the popularity of this natural elixir overtakes that of treatments like Botox and peeling.

While the idea of using oil on your face is frankly rather cringing worthy, CBD oil is incredibly beneficial and it helps lock in all of the moisture and hydration your skin needs to be glowing and healthy and even if your skin is a little on the oily side, CBD oil will still be beneficial to you as it helps regulate the amount of sebum you produce resulting in clearer pores and less greasy looking skin.

The Benefits Of CBD Oil For Your Skin

You are probably sick of hearing about CBD’s powerful ability to relieve chronic pain, as well as helping those suffering from extreme anxiety to cope with life, but using CBD oil in skincare is still a relatively uncharted territory when it comes to media exposure. With regard to its skin benefits, its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties hold great potential in the treatment of skin conditions such as psoriasis, acne, and eczema, and it also protects against oxidative stress, meaning you might be able to stave off those dreaded crows feet and wrinkles for a little while longer. If you have sensitive skin and redness, or irritated skin, that anti-inflammatory aspect is especially fabulous to provide some pain relief, ease inflammation, and reduce your redness to improve skin health.

CBD Regulates Oil Production

Many of you are probably thinking that using oil as a facial moisturizer is a recipe for an acne-laden disaster, but rest assured it really does work to hydrate your skin without making it dirty or greasy regardless of skin types. It’s not like using coconut oil or olive oil, which can be way too moisture ridden. Your pores won’t get clogged with CBD products, which is always a bonus.

Anti-Aging Benefits

Aside from soothing and moisturizing, CBD oil provides you with a load of anti-aging qualities in your skincare routine that will leave your skin feeling fresh and smooth. External free radicals like pollution and toxins that cause us to age way quicker than we should be are kept at bay thanks to CBD strengthening the skin’s defense system and stopping these nasties getting in. So it can help to maintain your skin tone and erase those fine lines and wrinkles that we all know and love.

Possible Side Effects of Using CBD Oil

Buckle up and get ready for some good news. Early studies looking at the use of CBD have revealed that it carries only a few minor side effects, which is excellent news for those of us who are willing to go to any lengths to preserve our aging bodies. The studies in question examined the safety of CBD in adults and the majority of participants tolerated it extremely well with no side effects other than minor ones like diarrhea and fatigue.

With regards to including CBD in our skincare routines, there has not been any research indicating that it aggravates the skin in any way. In fact, studies have deemed it to be safe for topical use.

With that said, it’s still a good idea to proceed with caution when buying CBD oil for topical use as you have to make sure that the product you are buying is not secretly packed full of additives and toxins that will ultimately counteract all of the good work the CBD could be doing. Look for products that have a high concentration of CBD and are made using only natural ingredients and that also send each batch of oil to a third party approved lab for thorough testing.

How to Use CBD Oil for Best Results

If you are already getting excited about the beauty benefits that CBD can offer, then there are several ways to get started using it right away. Do your research and buy from brands who have worked hard to earn themselves a good reputation and who pride themselves on transparency when it comes to ingredients and faqs.

Many people prefer to take CBD oil as a sublingual tincture as this is one of the quickest ways of experiencing the benefits, but when it comes to your skin, the topical application seems to have a more potent effect as it targets a localized area. You can add CBD oil to your existing face cream or you can use it on its own- the choice is entirely your own! Adding a couple of drops of lavender essential oil to the oil you plan to use on your face will also help mask the funky smell that good quality oils have, as the terpenes that give your skin extra nourishment are known for their distinctive weed smell.

Ultimately, keeping it simple always seems to work best in life, so directly applying CBD oil to your skin each day requires minimal hassle and could result in all of the benefits.

 This article is originally published at SundayScaries.

CBD’s Anti-Aging Benefits Examined

Originally posted by Kim Torres on Sunday Scaries

Love it or hate it; there is nothing like a revolving door of skin care products. Tea tree oil! Coconut oil! Try this! Do that! Don’t you dare use that on your precious skin! No matter who you are, you have probably felt the pressure to take care of your skin, and at face value (no pun intended) all of that is good and well. Our skin is important! As the largest organ in our bodies, what we use to take care of ourselves does matter and does make a difference. But, if you can’t keep up with the trends (I mean really, who can?), it can get overwhelming quickly as products roll in and out of the spotlight.

CBD Is Here to Stay

CBD oil is no different — except, it is in the spotlight and has no intention of giving it up. CBD has been hot in the health and wellness industry for a couple of years, and it does not look like it is going anywhere. Regaled for its wide range and variety of benefits, CBD has been used to treat all sorts of ailments, both internally and externally.

Remind me: What is CBD Again?

If you need a refresher, CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is a chemical compound that is extracted from the cannabis plant and is a type of hemp oil. This hemp extract is a non-psychoactive compound, which means that under no circumstances can it get you high. You may also be familiar with its similar-but-very-different cousin, THC, which stands for tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is psychoactive and is the compound that gets people high when using marijuana. They look similar in structure but are completely different in how they impact the human body.

How does CBD Work?

The human body has an endocannabinoid system, which regulates your mood, your memory, the nervous system, your immune system and hormones, and so much more. The Endocannabinoid system has two receptors, CB1 and CB2. When you use a product like CBD, it positively affects the CB2 receptor. For this reason, CBD is often used for anxiety, Parkinson’s disease, or as a powerful antioxidant.

How can I take CBD?

CBD can be used in a variety of ways. It can be taken orally in via CBD gummies or CBD candy, sublingually with a couple of drops of tincture under the tongue, or topically with a cream or lotion. If you take it orally or sublingually, it will go straight to the receptors. If you take it topically, it will only impact the specific location you put it on. Fascinating, right?

What makes CBD so Great for Skin Care?

In the skincare world, CBD has great anti-inflammation and antioxidant properties, making it an incredible resource for healing and renewing the skin. You can find CBD in mascara, in lip gloss, in facial scrubs, bath bombs, creams, lotions, salves… you name it, and someone is selling it. But what makes it so incredible and stand out from all the other options? We’re so glad you asked! Keep reading to learn how these properties can breathe life into your skin care routine and ward off wrinkles like a champ.

Why does our skin age in the first place?

When we talk about our skin aging, what do we mean? What is going on? Well, after we turn 20, our skin begins producing 1% less collagen each year. Collagen is a property in our bodies that helps keep our skin tight and bright if you will. It causes our skin to become less firm, more delicate, and as moisture goes down, our skin becomes drier and duller as time goes on.

What else affects our skin?

However, the biological age of our skin cells is not nearly as concerning as the environmental impact as we spend more and more cumulative years outside in the sun and the elements, the quicker the health of our skin declines. If we are not actively fighting against our skin’s decline, we’re probably contributing to it. (This is why using safe, natural products are so important! Using chemical filled lotions and makeup doesn’t help either.) As time goes on, our skin begins to show wear and tear of years of sun, chemicals, and declining biological processes.

But don’t worry! You’re not helpless, and it doesn’t have to be nearly as depressing as it sounds. CBD products help restore vitality into the skin and can regulate and manage the effects of everyday life, so they aren’t as damaging.

What will it do?

CBD is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. What does that mean? Well, lots of things! And each of these benefits will help to fight against and reduce the signs of the skin aging process. First, it will help cut down on redness in your skin. That’s a start! It can also help reduce irritation and help regulate your hormonal systems and oil production. Too much, or too little oil, can prompt acne breakouts, so regulating your oil production will help your skin get into a rhythm. CBD has been known to slow down the aging process. CBD can also visibly reduce fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and generally, help your skin look younger and healthier. It will hold on to moisture, slow down collagen loss, and help your skin look and feel firm. What a list of benefits!

Where should I start?

There are a ton of different options when it comes to incorporating CBD into your morning skincare routine. You can start with a lotion or primer, or even visit a dermatologist for a CBD facial. Whatever you decide, you’re in for a treat. And as a reminder, give yourself several weeks before you determine whether a product is working for you, as products work differently for various skin types. Like any other skin care or anti-aging products, whenever you integrate something new into your routine, it may take a while for your skin to get adjusted and to see positive results. You may even experience an acne flare-up because sometimes things must get worse before they get better. In any case, try using a product on the inside of your wrist before you put it on your face, to make sure you don’t have a sensitivity or an allergy. Then, give yourself a few weeks to try a product before you determine whether it is helpful. You’ve got this!

Hugs,

Shaline