If you looking for low-impact exercises for seniors, this post by Chaparral Winds Retirement can help.
High-impact, gut-wrenching workouts may have been beneficial in your twenties, but exercising for long-term wellness and health means being friendlier to your body. That’s not only true for the estimated 50 million Americans stricken with some type of arthritis; it pertains to everyone.
As the years go by, your bone density and joint support naturally start to decline. This doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy calorie-burning, muscle-building exercises. Here are eight awesome options for staying fit, strong, and healthy without beating up your joints.
TRX Suspension Training
Commonly known as “total-body resistance exercise,” TRX is a strap suspension system that uses your own bodyweight and gravity to enhance your flexibility, balance, and strength.
The rope-like system can be a little intimidating at first, so it’s wise to take a class or work with a trainer when you’re just beginning. When you’re comfortable, you can simply hang a suspension trainer over any solid doorframe and use the connected handles to execute hundreds of exercises.
Swimming has been known for a long time as an excellent low-impact workout—and there is a good reason. Moving in water supports your joints and offers great resistance to strengthen your bones and muscles. Both water aerobics and swimming are excellent workouts for your heart health and for increasing your range of motion.
One other perk: You hardly ever feel overheated in water. The downside is that this can make it difficult to notice when you need more fluids, drink plenty of water before you take the dive.
Yoga is a low-impact exercise that helps build up your core, along with improving your balance and muscular stamina. These are all important as we age, so we can decrease the likelihood of serious injury from falls or other potential mishappenings.
Practicing yoga regularly can also strengthen your bone density, according to a 10-year study published in Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation. Simply put, 12 minutes of yoga every other day is more than enough to do the trick.
When it comes down to staying active every day, walking is tough to beat. It gives a constant work to the muscles and connective tissues responsible for steadying your feet, ankles, knees, and hips while at the same time burning calories. The more hills and steps you climb, and the faster you go, the more calories you will burn.
Studies have shown that having a regular walking routine—preferably 30 minutes a day, six days a week—can help hinder constipation and even erectile dysfunction.
Pilates is often associated with yoga, but it’s a totally different exercise system. Both are emphasizing gentle movement and flexibility, the mind-body connection, and breathing techniques—all of which can be excellent remedies for creaky joints. But Pilates has a greater emphasis on building up core strength, as yoga and its spiritual associations can turn people of doing yoga, Pilates is free from those associations.
We apologize, treadmill. The elliptical is the clear winner when it comes to putting less stress on our legs. As the elliptical glides back and forth, it decreases the impact on your legs and lower back due to its ski-like motion. It’s an excellent way to get your heart pumping without putting too much stress your joints.
The elliptical can also put your body in a stationary position that might not be natural for your proper alignment. Over time this can cause hip issues, it’s a good idea to speak with a doctor or physical therapist before you start using an elliptical.
Sometimes described as “meditation in motion,” tai chi is an especially effective exercise for improving your strength, flexibility, balance, and range of motion. There’s increasing evidence that it can help treat or stop a lot of health problems, including depression and high blood pressure.
Tai chi is flexible and safe for people of all ages and periods of health. But it’s particularly beneficial for older individuals who may be limited from aerobic exercise as well as those who have stiff joints or balance issues. A study conducted by the Oregon Research Institute found that doing tai chi at least three times a week can improve your balance and reduces the risk of falling by as much as 55%.
Indoor cycling is an aerobic activity that improves endurance and heart health, lowers blood pressure and your stress levels, and strengthens your hip and leg muscles—all without putting stress your joints.
Many gyms will offer indoor cycling classes specifically meant for seniors, with trained instructors who are familiar with older adults. If you can’t find one near you, it’s not a problem: Any class can (and should) be done to your ability.
Chaparral Winds Offers Retirement Living In Surprise, Arizona
Chaparral Winds is a retirement community located in Surprise, Arizona offering assisted living, independent living, and memory care services. For more information about our senior living facility contact SLS Communities or to schedule a tour, please call us today at 623-471-5086.