Staying active as we grow older helps increase our metabolism and builds muscle mass – two of the body essentials that naturally decline with age. As a result, a low impact workout for seniors is crucial.
Retirees need body-strengthening benefits with a lower risk of injury versus high-impact exercises. Regular exercise also improves your mood and state of mind while making it easier to get a restful night’s sleep.
Here are some low-impact ways to work out and build your endurance, strength, flexibility, and balance:
Check With Your Doctor First
Although taking a brisk walk or going for a leisurely swim is safe for most people, it’s important to speak with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine. This is especially true if it’s been a quite while since you’ve worked out. Once you get a medical thumbs-up, add a few of these low-impact exercises to your schedule to keep things interesting.
Walking helps improves bone mass and circulation, while it strengthens your joints, leg and stomach muscles. In fact, studies show walking just 30 minutes per day can help prevent hip fractures and lowers blood pressure.
Since water supports the body’s joints and provides natural resistance, swimming is one of the best low-impact exercises for seniors. Change it up with water jogging and aqua aerobics to get all the benefits of weight training without the risk of injury.
Riding a bike is a great low-impact exercise because it places very little stress on your joints. Whether you ride a stationary bike or prefer cycling around the neighborhood, it’s an excellent aerobic workout that increases strength and stamina.
Stretching exercises improve the flexibility, balance and range of motion you need for everyday activities like walking, lifting and bending. It also helps reduce lower back pain while increasing circulation and boosting energy.
Believe or not, a number of senior centers throughout the country now offer yoga classes. Yoga helps to improve your flexibility, balance and joint health while reducing blood pressure and improving respiration.
Tai Chi is a zero-impact exercise that has become more and more popular with seniors. The slow, flowing movements help improve leg strength, flexibility, range of motion, and reflexes, while improving balance and strength.
Here’s a fun fact – playing 18 holes of golf is equivalent to walking approximately eight miles. Like all aerobic exercises, golf helps improve your heart health while building muscle strength, flexibility and range of motion.
Bowling is a fun low-impact activity that helps improve balance and flexibility while burning an estimated 175-300 calories an hour. Since the average ball weighs 14 pounds, bowling is an excellent way to tone your shoulders, arms, chest, leg and hand muscles.
When it comes to low-impact exercising, never underestimate the benefits of dancing. An aerobic form of exercise that’s more fun than working out at the gym, dancing helps improve flexibility, balance, mobility and heart health while burning off calories.