4 Low Impact Exercise Ideas for Seniors
When you get older, traditional workouts become a lot harder to do.
The risk of injury also goes up drastically. This is why seniors are typically discouraged from doing things like lifting weights, running, etc.
However, there are plenty of low impact exercises that seniors can do to keep themselves in shape.
These exercises burn calories, burn fat, keep the muscles loose, and they do it without putting a serious strain on the body.
Yoga, Pilates, and aerobics, while all technically different, have enough in common that they can be put under the same subheading.
Anyone of these exercises is a great option for seniors because they exercise a bunch of different muscle groups without putting any strain on the body.
Pretty much every community center and yoga center out there offers classes for seniors only as well.
Swimming and/or aquatic aerobics are a great way for seniors to keep in shape.
Even though swimming may seem like really intense exercise, it is surprisingly easy on the body.
This is due to the fact that the water reduces the impact of physical movement on your muscles.
So, you can swim for hours and not feel really any soreness in your muscles.
The same goes for aquatic aerobics. Swimming is also great because it works the vast majority of muscle groups in the body at once.
It may seem somewhat obvious, but you would be surprised at how helpful walking can be.
A lot of people make the mistake of overlooking walking, but if done at a decent pace, it can end up burning a respectable number of calories. It is also a very easy exercise to supplement.
For example, you could walk at a normal pace 75% of the time, but then speed walk for 25% of the time to burn more calories.
You can also walk with very light weights to make it a bit more rigorous, while still remaining low impact.
Using an Exercise Bike
While regular biking might be a bit difficult for some seniors, using an exercise bike is a perfectly good alternative.
Most exercise bikes come with very low resistance settings that are great for seniors.
An exercise bike lets a senior get a really good cardio workout without putting much strain on their muscles.
Exercise bikes also let seniors exercise their leg and calf muscles without risking damage to their bones and leg muscles.
Low Impact Workouts for Arthritis
Exercise plays many roles in an active lifestyle, especially for people with arthritis.
If you suffer from arthritis, exercise is the secret to staying mobile while avoiding pain and stiffness.
But, it’s important that you do the right workouts or else you could risk making your joint pain worse.
Here are some low impact workouts that will surely be beneficial.
Arthritis can affect many different parts of the body, but it most commonly impacts the hands and wrists.
By focusing your stretches on the areas you feel are most impacted, you can help quickly relieve your arthritis pain and increase your mobility.
Come up with a simple, quick stretching routine that you can do every single morning and/or evening.
Try Tai Chi and Yoga
The low impact, flowing motions of yoga and tai chi will certainly help you with your arthritis.
Many poses require you to stretch out, giving your muscles a chance to loosen up and get the blood flowing.
More importantly, you will be able to focus on your breathing, which is a huge part of endurance.
These activities also have you focus on form, helping you kick poor posture and other bad habits that contribute to pain.
Get In The Water
By supporting your body weight, water takes away the impact of your moves, enabling you to get moving without experiencing joint pain.
The resistance of the water also makes for a great workout. If you’re more athletic, opt for a swim or water aerobic class.
Otherwise, a simple water walking session can do wonders for your joints. Make a habit of it.
Hit Your Exercise Goal
It’s recommended that you get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise in each week if you have arthritis.
You can do this by pilates, cycling, strength training, and other low-impact workouts that get your heart rate slightly up to support cardiovascular health.
Find Ways to Be More Active
Becoming consistently more active is the secret to overcoming your arthritis and continuing to live your life.
Gardening, for instance, is a popular activity for keeping your hands mobile and flexible while also helping your entire body thanks to the bending, kneeling, and gentle walking that you have to do.
It also takes your mind off the thought of exercise, which can help you do even more.
Low Impact Workouts for Back Injuries
Back pain is a huge problem around the world.
Perhaps spawning from our sedentary jobs and the increasingly poor posture caused by the use of laptops and devices, back pain is a major issue.
And, it stops some people from being as active as they want to be.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to stop you. With these low impact aerobic exercises, you can regain your mobility and health without letting back pain stand in your way.
In fact, resting is one of the worst things you can do about back pain because it allows the muscles responsible for supporting your back the chance to further weaken, leading to an increasingly uncomfortable cycle.
Instead, opt for these low impact exercises to help build your back and core muscles to promote a healthy, pain-free upper body.
Try Aerobic Exercises
You’ve probably heard the term “aerobic” a lot, but you might not know what it means.
Basically, an aerobic exercise is any exercise that puts your body’s biggest muscles into motion in a way that’s repetitive and rhythmic.
This is especially beneficial for relieving back aches and strengthening the muscles needed to keep your back strong.
These exercises also get blood flowing to the muscles in your back, helping them to recover quicker.
Walking is one of the simplest aerobic exercises that can benefit your back. Make sure you do it with good posture.
You should also try swimming, which is quoted as being one of the best–if not the best–aerobic exercise out there for your back.
Try Yoga and Stretching
The right stretches and poses can open up your back to relieve tension and get your muscles working.
Yoga is a great way to get moving without putting any sort of stress or impact on your body.
Stationary stretches for your back, core, and shoulders can also help in relieving your back pain.
Drop To The Mat
Grab an exercise ball to further stretch out your back and work your back muscles.
A workout with an exercise ball will allow you to avoid impact while enabling you to participate in a wide range of movements to help your back and surrounding body parts.
In turn, you will experience less back pain and stronger muscles over time to help you avoid back pain in the future.
Low Impact Workouts for Knee Injuries
Suffering from pain or injury in your knee? You’re not alone.
The knee is one of the easiest and most common places to injure because we are constantly using our legs.
Of course, that doesn’t mean it has to stop you from doing a workout routine.
In fact, these exercises will actually help your knee heal up quicker and get stronger, which can protect it from future injury.
The key to preventing future injuries and helping to mitigate your current injury is very simple: warmup before you exercise.
Throwing yourself from tight, unworked muscles into a state of high impact or high intensity movement will surely put you at an increased risk of hurting yourself.
Always warmup, starting with stretches and then going into a low intensity, low impact move to get your blood flowing.
Straight Leg Raises
The simplest move you can do for your knees is the straight leg raise.
Lay down on your back and, if needed, prop yourself up on your forearms.
With one leg bent and foot flat on the mat, stretch the other out and keep it straight as you lift the leg up towards the ceiling.
Repeat 10 times on each side to complete a set and try doing a few sets in each workout.
Standing behind a chair for balance, face the chair and stand straight. Keeping your thighs parallels to one another, bend your knee of one leg so that your calf and foot come up behind you.
Try to get your foot as close to your bottom as you can, and hold briefly. Repeat 15 times and then do this move on the other side to complete one set.
You can also do this move lying down.
Prone Straight Leg
Lie down on your stomach with your legs straight.
Engage your bottom and hamstring muscles as you lift one straight leg up towards the sky behind you.
Hold for up to 5 seconds, lower, and then repeat.
The key is to do this move with control.
Don’t allow your leg to drop back to the ground with gravity.
Control your movements in both directions and do this move slowly.
Side Leg Raises
This final move has you lay on one side with your bottom leg bent, foot behind you.
Lift the top leg up as you keep it straight, toe pointed or foot flexed (not limp).
Raise the leg to 45 degrees and hold for about 5 seconds before slowly bringing it back down to repeat.
Do this move on both sides.