There are many benefits to staying active as you age. Exercising regularly can help improve your energy levels, mood, and overall physical health. But for seniors, it’s important to choose exercises that are low impact and gentle on the body. What Are The Best Low Impact Exercises For Seniors? explores some of the best options of low-impact aerobic exercise out there.
Before we get started with types of low-impact exercises let’s take a moment to discuss low-impact exercise and what it is and what health benefits it contributes to your body.
What Is Low Impact Exercise?
Low impact aerobic exercise is a type of physical activity that does not stress your bones and joints too much. It includes, but is not limited to cycling, dancing, swimming, walking, swimming.
If you have osteoporosis or arthritis, low-impact exercises might be better for you than high-impact ones such as running, jumping, and skipping.
Low Impact Exercise and the Health Benefits
When done consistently aerobic exercise can help you lose weight, reduce your risk of serious health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, strengthen your bones and muscles, lift your mood, improve your balance and coordination, give you more energy, lower blood pressure and lead to a healthier life.
Best Low Impact Exercises For Seniors
Cycling is a great cardio workout for seniors. It’s low impact, meaning it doesn’t put a lot of stress on your joints, and it’s a great way to get some fresh air and enjoy the scenery. You can cycle indoors on a stationary bike or outdoors on a real bike.
If you’re cycling outdoors start out by going for short rides in a safe, low-traffic area.
As you get more comfortable, you can gradually increase the distance and intensity of your rides.
But before you hit the road, make sure you’re following these safety tips to make sure your cycling experience is a safe and enjoyable one.
- First of all, always wear a helmet! This is probably the most important safety tip there is when it comes to cycling. A good helmet can save your life in the event of an accident.
- Also, make sure to dress appropriately for the weather. If it’s hot out, wear light clothing that will keep you cool. If it’s cold, wear warm clothes to keep yourself from getting too chilly.
- Another thing to keep in mind is to always obey traffic laws. Follow the same rules when cycling as you would when driving a car.
- When cycling, always keep your eyes up and look around you. As a senior citizen, it’s easy to become complacent with the work that you do regularly, but by staying aware of your surroundings, you can avoid potential accidents.
- Make sure to wear sunscreen and a hat to protect your skin from the sun.
- Be sure to take plenty of breaks and drink plenty of water, especially on hot days.
- Outdoor cycling is a lot of fun. You can go at your own pace, make new friends and see some beautiful countryside along the way. What could be better than that? Give outdoor cycling a try – you won’t regret it.
Indoor cycling can be a great workout for seniors. It’s low-impact, which means it’s easier on your joints. But being low-impact doesn’t mean you won’t get a good aerobic workout-it can also be high intensity.
Since cycling is a cardiovascular workout. You’ll not only strengthen and tone your muscles, but you’ll also work out your heart and lungs. It can help improve blood circulation and lower blood pressure. It can even be a great way for seniors to manage other chronic conditions like diabetes and arthritis.
There are two types of indoor cycling machines; Upright and recumbent. The upright bike is one that is more traditional where you are sitting on a seat and you legs are positioned downwards like a typical bike. A recumbent bike has a seat where you sit back and you legs are in front.
Indoor cycling is a great way to get your daily aerobic exercise in, no matter what the weather is like outside. You can also listen to your favorite music or watch TV while you’re biking.
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Dancing is a great low impact cardio workout option for seniors that’s fun and can be done alone or with friends. Dance workouts are great because dancing is a low-impact cardio activity that can improve flexibility, strength, endurance, and balance all at the same time.
There are many different types of dances that can be enjoyed, such as ballroom dancing, line dancing, or even square dancing. You can dance to your favorite music or try a dance workout video.
Be careful not to overdo it if you’re new to dancing – start out slowly and build up your stamina.
Swimming is another great cardio workout for seniors. Swimming provides cardiovascular benefits swimming works all the muscles in your body and gives your heart a great workout, helping to improve cardiovascular health.
Also, Swimming is a low impact exercise and helps improve flexibility, strength, and balance.
Swimming decreases the stress on the joints and strengthens muscles supporting your joints.
Swimming is excellent for rehab. When your health professional gives you the okay swimming can be used as part of physical therapy after an injury or surgery.
So, if you’re looking for a low-impact way to get your cardio in, swimming is definitely an option. Not only is swimming great for your physical health, but it’s also a great way to relax and de-stress after a long day.
Walking is one of the best cardio exercises for seniors. It’s considered one of the best low impact workouts, it’s easy to do, and can be done almost anywhere. If you’re new to walking, start out slowly and gradually increase your speed. You can also add in some hills or stairs if you want a more challenging workout.
The benefits of walking daily include:
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke – walking for 30 minutes a day reduces the risk of ischaemic heart disease by up to 37%
- Weight loss / increased fitness level / healthier heart
- If you walk for 60 minutes every day, you’ll burn up to 600 calories. Walking for just 30 minutes every day can reduce the risk of obesity by 13-25%.
- Less risk of developing high blood pressure
- Walking at least 30 minutes a day reduces the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease, as it increases “good” cholesterol levels while reducing the risk of blood clots
- Better stress response
- Exercise reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones
- Better sleep
- Exercise can boost the effect of natural sleep hormones such as melatonin.
- Boost in mood and reduced depression risk
- Walking increases feel-good chemicals that may help fight off depression and anxiety disorders
- Reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes
- Walking just 30 minutes a day can lower the risk of diabetes by around 20%.
- Strengthening bones and muscles
- Walking helps maintain muscle and bone strength and flexibility, which may help prevent painful movements that can lead to arthritis
- Improved balance, which can reduce the risk of falls
So there you have it – daily walking offers many benefits for your physical and mental health. It’s also a good way to maintain your fitness level. Walking is one of the simplest and most enjoyable ways to get in some exercise, and it doesn’t require any fancy equipment and can be done almost anywhere.
What Are Some Tips For Exercise?
If you are just starting an exercise program, the tips below will help you avoid injuries and start at a level that is right for your current fitness level. These tips are appropriate for weight loss, overall conditioning, getting back in shape after some time off, or beginning any type of new activity. Most of all remember to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.
- Start Slow
- Build up slowly over time to avoid injury. Start with five to 10-minute sessions and work your way up to longer workouts. Rather than committing to an hour try fitting in three 10 minute walks throughout your day. It’s not about spending more time exercising, it’s about making small changes that will add up over time. Plus if you are doing things like walking around work or parking further away, these little changes can help you get in some more steps which will put you on the right track to weight loss.
- Find Your Motivation
- Knowing what drives you is important when starting any new lifestyle change. Whether it’s feeling better about yourself, having more energy, losing weight for an upcoming event or feeling better in your clothes, you have to have a reason for being healthy.
- Set Realistic Goals
- Setting smart goals with small steps that lead to bigger changes is a great way to stay motivated. Whether it’s committing to exercising three days out of the week or cutting out one sweet each day, it all adds up and starts to create habits and healthy lifestyle changes.
- Do What Works For You
- If you have always hated swimming, don’t try to force yourself to swim. Instead, try something new like cycling or dancing until you find an exercise that keeps your interest and makes it fun because then you are more likely to stick with it.
In conclusion, seniors should consider low-impact cardio exercises part of their daily routine.
Cycling is a great exercise that doesn’t put too much strain on the knees or hips, so it’s suitable for those with lower-body injuries.
Dancing may not seem like a great choice at first glance, but it helps relieve stress from your whole body because you’re dancing with someone else or just letting go in front of others without caring what anyone thinks about how well you dance!
Swimming is excellent for keeping one’s heart rate up and calories burning while being easy on the joints.
Walking has been shown to be an effective way to keep weight off over time by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels, risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
And if you’re not too sure about any of these exercises, talk to your doctor or physical therapist for more information!
No matter what type of exercise you choose, make sure to start slowly and build up your stamina. If you have any health concerns, be sure to talk to your doctor and heed any of their medical advice before starting a cardio program. And always remember to drink plenty of water during and after your workout.
In reading What Are The Best Low Impact Exercises For Seniors, I hope you found some types of exercise you’re going to try. So get moving, and don’t miss out on the benefits of low-impact cardio exercise.