If you’re like most seniors, you’re looking for ways to keep your heart healthy and your mind sharp. One way to do that is by adding some variety to your cardio routine. 5 Types of Cardio For Seniors – Getting Fit In The Golden Years explains cardio exercises, its benefits and gives you five cardio activities that can be fun and beneficial for seniors.
Before participating in any type of exercise seek professional medical advice to be sure you are ready to do so.
Before we get started with types of cardio workouts, let’s take a moment to discuss cardio exercise and what it is, and what it does for the body.
What Is Cardio Exercise?
Fitness experts often tout cardio as one of the best ways to improve your health. Cardio is short for cardiovascular exercise, which means any activity that gets your heart pumping and your heart rate up. Another term for cardio exercise is aerobic exercise.
Cardio exercise allows your heart to pump more blood throughout your body for a period of time. In turn, this makes the cells in your body work harder and receive more oxygen.
Aerobic exercise improves your heart health, strengthens the core, arms, and legs muscles, and can help you lose weight.
Benefits Of Cardio Exercise
So why should you do cardio exercise? The benefits of cardiovascular activity are numerous. Some benefits of cardio workouts include weight loss, improved metabolism, stronger bones, healthier joints, better blood pressure levels, lowered risk of heart disease, lower blood sugar levels in diabetics, and lower risk of strokes.
5 Types Of Cardio Exercise
When you think of cycling, a two-wheel upright might come to mind. But if you look further into it types of cycling has many options. Indoor/Outdoor, Upright/Recumbent, Two Wheel/Adult Tricycle. With so many options, there’s sure to be one that will accommodate you.
First, let’s explore Indoor and Outdoor Bikes. Indoor Bikes are stationary bikes you use in your home or gym. You typically set on them and pedal. You can use apps that will take you through scenic routes and with different intensities. There are two main types of stationary bikes: Upright and Recumbent. We’ll take a closer look at these a little bit later.
Next looking at outdoor bikes. Again, there are options. The first that may come to mind is the typical two-wheel upright bike. But in addition, there are also recumbent bikes and three-wheel adult tricycles.
There are many types of upright bicycles, including road bikes, mountain bikes, cruisers, and comfort bikes.
An upright bike is different than a road bike. A road bike has the rider leaning forward, whereas an upright bike allows the cyclist to sit upright with their head looking straight ahead. These types of bikes are typically two-wheeled.
Some upright bikes are single-speed, while others come with various speeds.
Like the recumbent bike, there are upright bikes for indoor and outdoor use.
Cycling is a great cardio workout because it is low-impact, meaning it is joint-friendly and not jarring to the body. At the same time, you can get your heart rate elevated for a cardio workout.
If you are riding outside, be sure to follow your community’s laws and follow safety protocols.
Recumbent bikes are available for both inside and outside use.
An outside recumbent bike usually has three wheels, but two wheels are also available.
The positioning of your body on a recumbent bike is more reclined than an upright bike and can make all the difference in terms of comfort, safety, and ease of use for riders who have trouble balancing themselves.
These bikes are perfect for people with physical limitations who want an alternative to upright riding and those looking into it because they can ride closer to the ground and have greater stability when going over bumps or around corners.
You Might Be Interested In: Best Recumbent Bikes For Seniors
The most noted advantage to riding a recumbent bike is comfort. The wide seat supports the body well and keeps pressure off major muscle groups like the shoulders and lower back, and this places the body in a more relaxed, comfortable riding position with the head looking forward rather than down.
Recumbent bikes also tend to be more comfortable on your back, neck, or knees. People who convert to riding recumbent bikes note that pain in the shoulders and hips is nearly non-existent.
Not only do recumbent bikes accommodate different body shapes and sizes, but they also offer higher weight capacity due to their design, making it possible for people of most weights– including those with physical limitations–to ride comfortably!
There are apps you can use while riding an indoor bike that will make your cardio workout time seem to go by faster. In reality, if you have a goal of 30 minutes the time will be 30 minutes. I just find that having my mind distracted tricks my mind into thinking the time is going by faster.
2. Elliptical Machine
An elliptical machine is a fitness machine with movements similar to jogging or walking. Most users enjoy this workout equipment because it offers low-impact exercise, making it easier on the joints.
An elliptical machine can give you a great cardio workout because it increases heart rate, burns calories, and builds endurance. Professional athletes even use them to warm up before competing since it has very gentle on the joints.
The average person can burn more calories and work out longer on an elliptical machine than on a treadmill. This is because the impact of using an elliptical machine is less, allowing you to exercise for longer.
Elliptical machines are not only great for cardio workouts but also for working your entire body. This is because most Ellipitical machines have moving arm levers that work the upper body.
You also get a better aerobic workout with an elliptical machine than you do with a stationary bike. This is because the body position changes, which forces you to work a variety of muscles.
You can also increase speed or incline to get an even more intense workout!
3. Rowing Machine
Rowing machines offer an excellent full-body workout.
With the rowing motion, arms and back muscles are used in addition to core glutes and legs while also being low impact.
A rower or rowing machine offers great cardio benefits by increasing your heart rate.
The resistance lever makes it harder or easier for you depending on your goal.
If you don’t feel that you are getting a good cardio workout just increase the resistance. If you feel your heart rate is too high then you are able to lower the resistance or go slower.
Unlike other motorized cardio machines, the rower uses your legs to speed up or slow down the workout.
4. Water Aerobics
Water aerobics is used to describe exercising in an upright position while in water. This type of activity is usually performed in a pool. Water aerobics can be pretty vigorous and challenging, so it’s essential to learn to swim well before attempting such an exercise especially in deep water.
Water aerobics is one of the most popular forms of aquatic activities for adults and seniors. It is a gentle way to improve cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular strength, and endurance.
Water has a property to support the body, so there is very little stress on the joints during water aerobics, unlike running or jogging, for example. In addition, buoyancy helps reduce impact when exercising, which makes this type of activity a good choice for people with arthritis.
Water aerobics, just like any other aerobic exercise, can have a positive impact on mood and prevent depression.
In addition to that, the water temperature has been shown to have a role in easing chronic pain conditions such as arthritis or fibromyalgia.
It is said that exercising in warm water may increase body temperature and stimulate the release of endorphins which are responsible for feelings of well-being.
However, it is important to keep in mind that water aerobics can’t take the place of medications or other forms of treatment prescribed by your doctor.
If you experience pain while performing these types of exercises, this may be a symptom related to a medical condition that you have. In those cases, it’s essential to stop and seek professional medical advice.
People looking for a low-impact workout that will not stress the joints may find water aerobics a perfect activity for them.
Walking is a great way to get your daily dose of aerobic exercise. It can be done almost anywhere, it’s simple and affordable (especially when compared with other forms of exercise), doesn’t require any fancy equipment or skilled personnel – you just need yourself!
Walking is a great way to stay healthy and maintain fitness. Walking is also great because you can do it anytime that is convenient. It’s important that in addition to walking on an established schedule with a planned route -you also keep track of progress by keeping a journal or using an app if available- try late night activity when feeling fatigued after work or early morning to set the mood for the day.
The health benefits of walking are numerous, too; not only will walking help keep weight off, but it’s also good for bone density and heart health.
Of course – there is always the possibility of injury when you’re exercising. Be sure to start slow and build up your distance and speed as you become more comfortable with walking. If you have any joint problems or health issues, be sure to check with a doctor before starting a new exercise routine.
Walking is a great way to get your heart rate up and burn some calories. It’s also one of the simplest exercises you can do at home or on vacation, so give it a try!
All – In – All
The benefits of cardiovascular activity are numerous. It’s important to take time most days to get some cardio exercise into your day.
However, there are a few aspects of working out you should target for a well-rounded routine – strength training, cardio, stretching for increased flexibility, and perhaps balance exercises. When you are incorporating an exercise routine, try to get all of these aspects included over the week to get most out of the benefits of exercise.
In 5 Types of Cardio For Seniors – Getting Fit In The Golden Years, we discussed five types of cardio; cycling, elliptical machine, rowing machine, walking, and water aerobics.
So what’s it going to be? Cycling or elliptical? Rowing or Walking? You can even do all by alternating between them on different days if you want.
With these options to choose from, no doubt you can find one that allows you to be active in your golden years!
What type of cardio exercises do you include in your day? Please comment below.