Exercise is effective to achieve good health at any age and elderly are not an exception. If you age more than 60 or you have some health issues, first consult with your doctor and if the doctor gives you a green signal, you can start on a low-impact exercise routine. It benefits your health in many ways including strengthening and stretching your muscles, preventing injuries, reducing stress, helping to reduce blood pressure and even benefiting you with a little bit of fun at the same time.
Low-impact exercises can be categorized into: strength, endurance, balance and flexibility. Incorporating a mix of all four types of low-impact exercises into your daily routine helps to keep you fit and healthy. Instead of doing the same exercise daily, mix it up! Start a well rounded exercise routine; combine various exercises, like endurance exercises (swimming, walking, etc.) with other exercises from different category. For strength building you can add light weight training and yoga. Yoga also improves balance and flexibility.
Low Impact Exercises for Seniors
Want to know some more low-impact exercises to round out your workout? Here are a few more to get you started.
Walking – It is one of the best low-impact exercises to start with. It requires very little planning and is easy enough on the joints, you can continue it until very late in life. Pick a right pair of shows and add some good stretching after your walk to make it a perfect and more beneficial walking routine. A good pair of shoes consist heel support and good cushioning.
Swimming – It provides flexibility and endurance. Swimming carries very low or almost no risk of injury compared with other endurance exercises. It provides best conditioning to your whole body. While your body moves through the water it relieves stress from your joints and bones. Swimming is beneficial to elderly women who often complain bone loss post menopause.
Cycling – While it doesn’t seem like but cycling actually is very easy on joints since it forces very minimal shock from pedaling. You can either pedal around your neighborhood having fun with the surrounding elements or ride a stationary bike with few of your friends at the gym. If you are not comfortable with an upright bicycle, it imposes much pressure on your neck, shoulder or back, choose a recumbent bike instead. Recumbent bikes are much lower to the ground; invest in a flag to make you visible to the drivers on the road.
Stretching – Regardless of your workout routine, stretching is always beneficial and it improves range of motion and flexibility. Usually stretches are done focusing on the muscles one is working during the rest of the routine, but for seniors, some general stretches in both morning and evening can give them some flexibility as their muscle tend to lose it with age.
Lifting weights –It’s a misconception that weight training is too strenuous. It is, but certain weight-lifting exercises come under the low-impact exercises and help build muscle and boost overall health. Start with lighter weights and increase gradually as you improve your strength.