Kermit the Frog say it’s not easy being green, and for humans it’s not easy getting old. Or, is it? While your skin loses its elasticity and body aches seem to increase over the years, aging doesn’t have to be something you fear. When it comes to physical activity, you may not be able to shoot hoops and run marathons with as much eagerness as before but that doesn’t mean exercise is off the table for good. Quite the opposite really, as it’s more important now than ever before. Read on to discover some low impact activities for seniors to stay fit and active as you age.
Whether you’re swimming laps or doing adult swimming lessons, you’ll surely reap the benefits of taking a dip in the water either way. Swimming is an excellent low impact activity that doesn’t put a lot of pressure on your joints and still has fantastic health benefits.
For example, swimming is a great way to:
- Keep your heart rate up
- Build muscle strength and endurance
- Improve your cardiovascular fitness
What’s more, swimming can help keep your organs healthy and maintain a good body-weight. It also tones your muscles and builds strength.
Low Impact Exercises for Seniors: Aqua Aerobics
If the thought of swimming lessons and doggy paddling doesn’t appeal to you, then why not go to a group aqua aerobics session instead? While you still get to enjoy the water, it’s with much more purpose.
Aqua aerobics promotes both strength and cardio. You can build endurance, burn calories, and reduce joint pressure, all at the same time. Also, water aerobics helps with flexibility, which has a flow-on effect that benefits you in many parts of your life. You never know, you may even make new friends while you’re there!
Pilates & Yoga
Over 3 million people receive treatment for fall-related injuries every year, with many of those people in the 65-plus age group. If you improve your balance, then you might be able to reduce the risk of a harm-causing fall. For this goal, Pilates and yoga are here to help.
These two low impact activities for seniors that can improve:
- Range of motion
If you have consistent back pain, strengthening your core muscles and muscles that attach to your spine can help reduce the aches. Both yoga and Pilates have moves that target those two muscle groups.
Step out of your comfort zone and try an exercise type with a difference. Tai Chi is an excellent option for someone who wants to do something more unique than a gym workout and learn a new skill. It builds endurance and muscle strength, as well as helping you remain fit and healthy in your later years.
If you’re suffering from stress or anxiety, Tai Chi may be able to help you with that too. Give it a go and see if it works for you. As with all of the other low impact activities for seniors on the list here, check with your doctor to make sure it’s safe for you before starting a new exercise routine.
Walking and Other Low Impact Exercises for Seniors
If you’re not interested in joining classes, there are many other ways to get physical exercise. One example is walking regularly to help stay fit.
Walk to the grocery store instead of using the car, and use the stairs instead of the elevator. While you can take your time to reduce the strain on your joints, you’ll still lift your heart rate, which will benefit your physical fitness.
As you age, your joints are no longer what they were years ago. It can sometimes take weeks to get over a short jog around the block or even a casual game of golf. For many, the aging process is less graceful and more graceless.
But rather than giving up on physical activity for good, change what you do. While you might not be able to do fast-paced sports anymore, it doesn’t mean you have to give up on your physical fitness and well-being altogether. Go swimming, try out Tai Chi, or join a Pilates or yoga class.
Which of the 5 low-impact exercises for seniors are your favorite? What are some other physical activities that are gentle on the joints?