Top Low Impact Exercises for Older Adults

Health and Safety

elderly folks need exercise to stay healthy

Keep your body and mind healthy and fit to enjoy life longer

While it is recommended people of all ages exercise to maintain their health, physical 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.  Low impact exercises are recommended for aging adults as it lowers your risk of injury. Low impact simply means, you are not doing any movements that require both of your feet to leave the floor and hence there is no “impact” upon landing on a floor. This makes low impact type exercises easy on the joints which is important for seniors! Read on for exercise ideas to get you started.

Low Impact Workout Ideas for Seniors

 

Walking

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. Walking briskly can be great cardio for seniors.  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.

 

Swimming and Water Aerobics

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.

 

Cycling

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.

 

Gym Memberships- Silver Sneakers

Or you can utilize this low impact exercise equipment at the gym. In addition to cycling machines, they may have rowing or elliptical machines as well.

Some gyms also offer a fitness program called Sliver Sneakers. These are great low impact aerobics for seniors that are included on many Medicare Advantage plans. Learn more about Silver Sneakers or see if your local gym offers a similar service for aging adults.

Whichever low impact exercise you choose to start with, your health care provider will be happy!