Published by: Onlymyhealth.com
A robust and active immune system is essential for the physical wellbeing of seniors. Since they are more prone to inflammatory diseases and infections, they need to take every possible precaution to stay healthy. Although the immune system does a remarkable job of defending the body from microorganisms, its capacity to do so reduces significantly with age, leading to increased incidences of infections and cancers. Seniors have been particularly prone to COVID-19 and they need all the help they can to fortify their bodies. A healthy diet and regular exercise are necessary to keep the immune system in shape. Think of your immune cells as warriors who need proper nourishment to do their job efficiently. The army needs a healthy, balanced diet lets to march. Exercise is their transport. It promotes good circulation, allowing immune cells to move freely and do their job efficiently.
Matsyasana: Start with the lotus position, elevate your head and slowly raise your chest. Make sure your chest is relaxed. The shoulders should rest easy, and your arms should be wide open. Stay in this position for a couple of minutes. Also known as the destroyer of all diseases, this pose stretches the muscles between the ribs and the deep hip flexors. It stretches and stimulates the tissues and organs of the abdomen, and strengthens the muscles in the back.
Suptavirasana: Fold a blanket and place it on top of a padded bolster. Sit between the heels with the bolster behind the tailbone. Lie with your back on the bolster and rest your head on the blanket. Turn your palms upward and stay in this position for ten breaths. It gives your abdominal organs a good stretch and improves digestion, which in turn boosts immunity.
Prasaritapadottanasana: Sit up slowly and stand with your feet placed 4 feet apart. Interlace the fingers of your palms behind your back, and make sure your arms are straightened. Fold forward, lift your arms towards the ceiling and stay in this position for ten breaths. It stretches and strengthens the spine, back and inner legs, and tones the abdominal organs.
Urdhvahastasana: Come to a standing position. Make sure your feet are placed hip-width apart. Interlace the fingers of your arms and extend both arms upwards. Lift your heels, and make sure you are balanced on the balls of your feet. Stay in this position for five breaths, and lower your arms and heels. It stretches the belly, improves digestion, and helps relieve anxiety and stress, which can hamper the functioning of the immune system.
Uttanasana: Stand with your feet placed hip-width apart. Fold forward from the hips, and place both hands on the ground. Extend through the sitting bones and down to the crown. It activates the abdominal muscles, relieves tension in the neck and spine, calms the mind, and soothes the nerves.
Yoga is a time tested exercise discipline that helps boost immunity naturally. Stability and balance are essential for the immune system to function at its peak. Any imbalance weakens the body’s natural immune response. It also conditions the respiratory tract and lungs, stimulates the lymphatic system, aiding the process of detoxification and increasing the supply of oxygenated blood to the various organs in the body. Not only does it help strengthen the body, but it also relaxes the mind.
(Medically reviewed by Dr Vinoda Kumary, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jindal Naturecure Institute)
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