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10 Low Impact Exercises for Seniors

Posted by paula worley on Friday, October 10, 2014

10 Low Impact Exercises for Seniors

Benefits of a low-impact exercises can range from stretching and strengthening muscles, reducing stress, preventing injury and even helping to lower your blood pressure. Seniors are no exception to exercising for good health. You should always talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise regimens.  Low-impact exercises fall into four categories: Endurance, strength, flexibility, and balance. You should always incorporate all four categories into your weekly routine.

10. Walking:
  • Focus on posture while walking, keeping your back straight and shoulders rolled back
  • Start with shorter distances and increase your walks by a few minutes each time. 30 to 60 minutes is ideal.

9. Swimming:

  • Improving endurance and flexibility, swimming is a very beneficial low-impact exercise.
  • Forgetting to stay hydrated is still very important while swimming.  Working out in water does not mean you can get away with drinking less.

8. Cycling:

  •  Cycling in very easy on the joints. Your body absorbs minimal shock from pedaling
  •  If an upright bicycle is too hard on your back, neck, or shoulders, try a recumbent bike instead
  •  Cycling can improve health by easing arthritis pain, assisting with high blood pressure, and improving your mood.

7. Stretching:

  • Flexibility and range of motion is important in daily activities. Stretching can be especially beneficial for seniors.
  • Stretch before exercising, as well as, some general stretches in the morning and evening.
  • Take it slow, and never push yourself to the point of pain

6. Lifting Weights:

  • Weight-lifting exercises are actually an excellent low-impact way to build muscle and improve overall health
  •  30 minutes of strength training is beneficial for each muscle group twice a week, taking at least one day off in between working the same group
  •  “No pain is good pain” if an exercise causes you pain, back off an try a lighter weight         

5. Water Aerobics:

  • Taking advantage of the waters resistance to strengthening your muscles combines both cardiovascular exercise with strength training for a low-impact full body workout.
  • Water takes the stress off of your joints and allows you to build strength and endurance.

4. Yoga:

  • Yoga combines endurance with stretches, strength training and balance
  • Seniors don’t need to be left out of yoga benefits. A good instructor will offer alternative positions to poses that you have trouble with.

3. Gardening:

  • Spending time in the garden is not only enjoyable to some, it is also a beneficial way to get in your daily exercise.
  • Bending and squatting may be too much for some seniors. A gardening stool and the right tools can go a long way.

2. Tai Chi:

  •   Meditative exercise that flows slowly from pose to pose. Very much like yoga, tai chi is low-impact and it improves balance, strength and flexibility.
  •   Since Tai Chi is gentle it is excellent for seniors who are overweight or have knee, hip or ankle pain.

1. Golf:

  •  Health benefits for seniors that golf includes; increased flexibility, strength, and endurance training.
  • If you are not able to walk the whole course you can gradually add more walking each time you play.
  • Golfing for health is not all about the score.  It is about having fun and getting exercise at the same time.

 Sources:
http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/aging/senior-health-lifestyle/10-low-impact-exercises-for-seniors.htm



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