Saying that it has been a stressful year is a huge understatement. All the health scares, quarantine protocols, and missed family gatherings have taken a significant toll on everyone, but more so on seniors residing in independent living in Carlsbad.
This is why many older adults participate in healthy and engaging activities to maintain their physical and mental well-being. But one endeavor that has been a massive help in promoting the overall wellness of every senior is active relaxation.
Yes, the term may be a bit confusing as it sounds like an oxymoron. Plus, “active” and “relaxation” seem to oppose one another because there’s no way you can relax all the while staying active, right?
Well, fortunately, now you can! Here is what active relaxation is and how it can help improve your physical, mental, and social wellness.
What is Active Relaxation?
In science, active relaxation refers to stress-release activities that involve muscle movements to release any form of stress and tension to the physical body. This unique technique involves your “active” participation and does not stick to the common idea of relaxing, where one usually lies down or sits and does nothing. Some activities that depict active relaxation include:
- Yoga and other forms of meditation
- Breathing exercises
- Autogenic Training
- Painting, Gardening, and Cooking
- Listening to music
- Solo walking in nature
- Connecting with someone you care about
These activities involve slow, deliberate movements, regulated breathing, and positive thoughts一all of which can help release physical, mental, and psychological stress. Furthermore, active relaxation also contributes to a deep sense of calmness, centeredness, and good health in a holistic way.
6 Reasons Why Seniors Should Practice Active Relaxation
Everybody encounters stress in their everyday life, albeit in different forms. Some may equate it to having numerous tasks daily, being diagnosed with a chronic condition, or the mental stress of aging.
This is why it’s crucial to prioritize relaxation because it plays an important role in the wellness and quality of your life. Fortunately, you can easily incorporate active relaxation into your daily routine and reap its overall benefits over time.
Here’s how active relaxation can benefit you and other seniors in your independent living in Carlsbad!
1. It Promotes Mental Wellness
The main goal of active relaxation is to bring the body and mind into a calm and relaxed state, hence the name. The activities and techniques involved allow your body to relax, which reduces stress and tension not just in your body but also in your mind.
Stress is a major risk factor and triggers many mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. So eliminating stress can help decrease your chances of having these mental illnesses or triggering their come back, making active relaxation incredibly helpful in promoting mental wellness.
2. It Boosts Heart Health
You don’t have to engage in high-intensity exercises to improve your heart health. Regular active relaxation activities like yoga and walking can already boost and protect your cardiovascular system’s health.
Studies found that practicing active relaxation techniques can have tons of benefits to the heart, such as:
- Maintaining healthy blood pressure and blood circulation.
- Controlling the heart rate which keeps the heart muscles intact.
- Lowers blood cholesterol and sugar levels.
- Reduces risk of hypertension, stroke, and other heart problems.
Some of the best techniques to achieve these benefits include diaphragm breathing, yoga poses, and long walks. Even if you already have heart problems, you can still do active relaxation activities since it’s safe and beneficial to seniors, regardless of your fitness or condition.
3. It Improves Physical Well-Being
Unlike traditional relaxation practices, active relaxation packs an incredible amount of benefits to your physique.
For starters, its techniques help seniors like yourself to stay physically active, putting your bones and muscles to good use. In addition, such activities also aid in helping seniors to maintain a healthy weight and physique, preventing them from falling ill to diseases like obesity.
Furthermore, active relaxation techniques help you release muscle tension, increasing blood flow into your major muscles and ensuring your body’s overall strength.
So spice up your routine and add some active relaxation to your to-do list. You can even invite your neighbors and other residents in your independent living in Carlsbad to make it more fun!
4. It Enhances Cognitive Performance
Besides promoting mental wellness, it also increases cognitive performance directly by allowing more oxygen and nutrients into the brain.
As you engage in low-impact activities, your blood circulation improves, making it possible for the brain cells to gain more energy and nutrients. This results in the enhancement of your cognitive functions, such as memory, thinking, and learning.
Additionally, it also slows down cognitive decline and brain aging by stimulating more connections within brain cells. So, no need to take memory-enhancing supplements because you can already do that by actively relaxing and taking care of your body.
5. It Speeds Up Recovery
Originally, active relaxation is a technique used by many athletes to balance out their intense training and fitness regime. It aids in reducing mental and physical stress, as well as releasing muscle tension. This results in faster recovery time, especially for athletes who received injuries.
Moreover, it helps relieve tiredness, muscle pain, and back pain一all of which usually ails a senior’s body. Therefore, active relaxation can act as a therapeutic activity for older adults with injuries. Also, it’s a safe form of exercise to avoid overexertion that may result in injuries.
6. It Improves Quality of Life
Overall, participating in active relaxation during your senior years has a great impact on your overall wellness. These techniques can help you learn how to manage stress and deal with anxieties healthily. Plus, it helps you stay active during your senior years, which is a major contributor to life longevity.
Over time, this can result in a healthier body and mind and an improved quality of life, which, of course, leads to a happier version of yourself.
So, take the time to try some active relaxation activities during your stay in the best independent living in Carlsbad.