Mind-body connection activities and techniques have particular benefits for seniors, helping them to take care of themselves and age healthy. ; they also help seniors adopt healthier behaviors and take care of themselves. Activities like meditation, yoga, and tai chi also lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and relieve chronic pain.
International Self-Care Day celebrated on July 24, is an opportunity to examine how activities and techniques aimed at the relationship between body and mind can promote self-care and good health in later life . Cultivating mindfulness and practicing techniques that reconnect the body and mind offer particular benefits both to healthy seniors* and those with chronic illnesses or pain, or disabilities, according to the journal The Gerontologist .
Motivating yourself to do exercises that stimulate both the body and the mind
According to a study by Behavioral Medicine , seniors with chronic illnesses who participated in classes on techniques stimulating the body and mind, relaxation and cognitive-behavioral strategies have seen benefits, including improved sleep quality and reduced pain, anxiety, and depression. They also adopted healthier* behaviors by taking care of themselves, through daily exercise, a balanced diet, interpersonal support and stress management.
Building Resilience and Morale
According to a study published in the journal Advances in Mind-Body Medicine , seniors who participated in a nine-week mind-body intervention program at Massachusetts General Hospital, showed greater self-efficacy, more resilience and better morale*. Self-efficacy is a person’s belief in their ability to influence life events. In seniors, it is associated with increased use of self-care, adopting healthier behaviors, more energy, better sleep, less pain and discomfort, and to better overall health.
Take an Optimistic View of Health
A study of Manitoba seniors found that people who perceived their own health as good or excellent lived longer* than doctors predicted. An optimistic mental attitude towards health has a strong influence on the outcome of health problems and is a vital aspect of self-care.
Focus on the present moment
According to a study from Georgetown University, people who practiced mindfulness meditation daily for eight weeks saw their blood levels of inflammatory proteins and the stress hormone cortisol drop.
Stimulating the mind through movement
Kinesiology researchers at Western University in London, Ontario, found that seniors who combined exercises involving motor skills and mental abilities (walking sessions along squares) with exercises Traditional training programs improved cognitive function and memory* more than those limited to physical exercise alone.
Doing tai chi and yoga for pain relief A study published in the journal Pain Medicine reports that tai chi, yoga, hypnosis and progressive self-relaxation are associated with a significant reduction in mild chronic pain* .
Meditate to lower blood pressure
According to the International Journal of Hypertension , the practice of meditation, with or without taking medication for hypertension, can lead to a small but decisive drop in blood pressure*.