To stay healthy and fit, seniors need about half an hour of exercise on most days of the week. But the idea of breaking a sweat can be intimidating, especially for seniors who may be worried about mobility changes or muscle loss. Fortunately, getting your heart rate up can be safe and easy with low-impact exercises. Low-impact exercises are typically easier on the body, helping to reduce your risk of injury. With the right equipment, you can also accomplish most low-impact exercises for seniors from the comfort of your home.
Low-Impact Exercises for Seniors
Let’s begin by digging into some of the benefits of low-impact exercises for seniors. First, if you’re new to fitness, low-impact workouts are great for beginners. They’re also easier on the bones, joints, and connective tissues, making this kind of exercise a good choice if you have arthritis, osteoporosis, or other mobility concerns. Some low-impact workouts can even help heal injured joints.
Low-Impact Cardio for Seniors
Interested in low-impact exercise, but not sure where to start? There are several easy low-impact cardio options that will get your heart pumping without wearing you out. Swimming is sometimes called a “no-impact” workout because the buoyancy of the water counteracts the effects of gravity, removing stress from your bones and joints. This makes aquatic exercises like swimming and water aerobics great options to tone up and slim down. If you’d rather not go for a dip, walking is a classic low-impact exercise that can have a major effect on full-body conditioning and heart health. Try to squeeze in at least 30 minutes of walking for maximum benefits. That’s about two to three miles a day.
Low-Impact Strength Training
Strength training has come a long way since old-school bodybuilders dominated the gym. Now, seniors have plenty of options when it comes to safe, low-impact strength training. First, consider abdominal exercises – but skip the crunches. There are a number of more effective core-strengthening options for seniors, many of which only require the use of a chair. After you’ve worked out your core, pick up some light dumbbells and check out an online tutorial for senior-friendly weights exercises. You can also work in a bit of resistance training, which incorporates resistance bands to work your muscles without the strain of using weights. Resistance bands can help improve your strength, flexibility, and range of motion. Plus, they’re cheap and perfectly portable.
As you can see, establishing an exercise routine doesn’t have to involve hitting the treadmill. You can incorporate a wide variety of low-impact cardio, strength, and resistance training into your week, most of which can be done from home. Just be sure to work with your health care provider before starting a new workout routine. When in doubt, build up your routine slowly and with the help of an expert like a doctor or personal trainer. And don’t forget to have a little fun with it – crank up your favorite music and pat yourself on the back for taking steps toward a healthier you.
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