While it is recommended people of all ages exercise to maintain their health, it can be particularly important for seniors. As long as you have approval from a health care professional, incorporating a low impact exercise routine into your daily life can help you reduce stress, lower blood pressure, improve your muscle strength, and prevent future injury. Best of all, there are several low impact exercises you can pursue on your own which do not require you adding a gym membership to your monthly budget. Read on for exercise ideas to get you started.
First, one of the best and easiest exercises to incorporate into your daily routine is walking. If you plan to start walking more, it is a good idea to purchase a sturdy pair of walking shoes with good cushioning and heel support. This is a purchase you want to make in person rather than online, as you want to try the shoes on to make sure they feel good on your feet. Distance-wise, you should build up your walks gradually. If you only feel comfortable walking 10 minutes one day, that is just fine; you can try for 11 or 12 minutes the next day. While you are on your walks, make sure that you are maintaining good posture with your back straight and your shoulders rolled back. Conclude your walk by doing some stretches to help your calves, hamstrings, and ankles recover from the exertion.
Next, swimming and water aerobics are great ways to help you improve your flexibility and endurance. These activities reduce your risk of injury, because being in the water relieves stress on your bones and joints. Also, while the water may feel weightless to you, it is actually providing additional resistance which helps strengthen your muscles with every move you make. If you do not already have access to a swimming pool, you may be able to join a swimming pool at a local college or university, YMCA, or community center for a relatively small fee. These facilities tend to offer swimming lessons, open swim times, and structured water aerobics classes as well.
Another wonderful form of exercise to consider is cycling. In addition to being environmentally friendly, research has shown that it improves your mood, eases arthritis pain, and even reduces the risk of heart attack in those over 60. If you will be riding outdoors on busy streets, make sure your bicycle has proper light reflectors and a flag to make you more visible to those driving cars. It is also advisable to always wear a proper cycling helmet while riding, even if there is no helmet law in your state.