4 of the Best Low-Impact Activities for Seniors

By on January 14, 2016
low-impact

Staying active at any age is important for reducing stress, strengthening muscles and preventing injuries, but it’s even more crucial as you age. Fortunately, staying fit does not have to involve grueling workouts, endless trips to the gym or costly workout gear. There are a wide variety of low-impact exercises that seniors can do — some from the comfort of home — that keep you physically and emotionally fit. Check out the following ideas:

Walking

If there is such a thing as a perfect exercise, walking is a prime candidate. Walking is an easy, affordable and fun way to get up and get moving. As a bonus, you can do it just about anywhere and gradually add minutes and challenges to make it more interesting and healthful. A great way to track your walk and exercise stats is with a wearable device or smartwatch. With these tools, you can track your heart rate, your steps taken and your distance walked.

A good brisk walk around the neighborhood gets your heart pumping, thus improving your cardiovascular health, and it also exercises your legs. As you get stronger and more confident in your walking routine, consider carrying light dumbbells or add weighted ankle or wrist straps to boost your workout. You can also vary your route to include a hill or two to give your heart an even better workout.

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Underwater jogging

If the idea of jogging sounds appealing but you are unsure if your knees can take the pounding on hard pavement, you might want to give underwater jogging a try. Also known as aqua jogging, this low-impact exercise increases your heart rate and works out your arms and legs, all from the gentle buoyancy of the pool.

The main pieces of equipment you need are a swimsuit and a belt that comfortably suspends you in the water. For example, the AquaJogger Water Fitness Belts are ideal for turning a pool into a workout world. The comfy and form-fitting belt keeps you suspended in the water at shoulder level, allowing you to jog to your heart’s content. The fitness belts also let you cross country ski or dance underwater.

Tai chi

Tai chi is a Chinese form of martial arts that involves learning slow and controlled movements. Tai chi’s low-impact moves and poses make it an ideal workout for seniors, even if they have limited movement. People who practice tai chi regularly report having an improved sense of balance and feeling steadier on their feet. It may also help with hand-eye coordination. Tai chi is also a gentle form of aerobic exercise. While it might not get your heart rate up as much as a quick stroll around the block, it strengthens your muscles and makes you more flexible.

Bicycling

Biking is a terrific and low-impact form of exercise that is kind to the jAll Postsoints while making leg muscles strong and improving cardiovascular health. If you have a bike and feel comfortable riding it, put on your helmet and head out for a ride around the neighborhood. If you are unsure of your biking skills, you can always opt for a stationary bike. Most sporting goods stores sell workout bikes that do not break the bank. For instance, Dick’s Sporting Goods features a Schwinn Upright Bike for $199.

Alison Stanton has been a freelance writer for the past 15 years. She enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics, and always looks for opportunities to learn about new subjects.

 

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4 of the Best Low-Impact Activities for Seniors