Most elderly Americans want to continue aging in place at home for as long as possible. Their formula for doing so includes eating right, getting plenty of sleep, and participating in a regular exercise program. Unfortunately, many older adults suffer from arthritis and reduced bone density that limit their strength, flexibility, and balance. That makes finding effective forms of exercise for seniors that don’t place a lot of stress on their bodies a priority. If that’s a concern for you, here are 5 low-impact exercises that most seniors can use to stay fit.
How Do Low-Impact Exercises Benefit Seniors?
Studies have found that low-impact exercises benefit seniors in so many ways, like:
- Improves balance and coordination, which lowers their risk for falling
- Stimulates a healthy appetite
- Promotes a better night’s sleep
- Improves muscle strength and flexibility
- Helps prevent illnesses and diseases
- Burns calories and body fat for someone who’s overweight
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Encourages social interaction and boosts self-esteem
- Sharpens concentration and mental acuity, which helps prevent dementia
As you can see, encouraging an elderly loved one to exercise more will help them enjoy a higher quality of life and more independent lifestyle. Now it’s time to investigate some easy ways for seniors to work out that also won’t place a lot of stress on their joints and bones.
5 Great Workouts for Older Adults
These 5 low-impact exercises for seniors can be done at home or the gym:
Walking doesn’t place a lot of stress on tender joints, but it does deliver a continuous workout for muscles and connective tissues located in the knees, feet, ankles and hips. Taking a long walk will also improve cardiovascular endurance, lower stress, burn calories and promote a heightened sense of wellbeing while enjoying one’s surroundings. And, some studies have even found that a regular walking program may help prevent constipation!
Practiced for thousands of years in China, Yoga is a good low-impact exercise that helps build a strong body core while improving balance, coordination, flexibility and muscle endurance. Regularly practicing the gentle movements of Yoga may also help improve bone density, and Yoga classes are always a fun way for seniors to meet others while staying fit.
Water’s soothing natural buoyancy comfortably supports a senior’s body so they can realize the many benefits of water aerobics without placing additional stress on weakened joints, muscles and bones. The resistance water affords also allows water aerobics participants to safely build muscle, reduce stress, and improve cardio and flexibility. Another aquatic alternative is swimming, as it also delivers many of the same benefits that water aerobics do.
Commonly referred to as “meditation in motion”, Tai Chi is a gentle-yet-effective way for seniors to improve strength, balance, concentration and range of motion. Much like Yoga, this ancient Chinese practice is notably beneficial for older individuals with joint stiffness or poor balance. Recent studies have also indicated that practicing Tai Chi may help prevent or treat health problems like depression and high blood pressure.
Many gyms now offer indoor cycling classes specifically designed for elderly participants, but if your senior can’t find one nearby this workout can easily be done at home. Indoor cycling has been shown to improve cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure and stress levels, and strengthen a senior’s hip and leg muscles. And, it delivers all those positives without “stressing out” arthritic joints.
In-Home Caregivers Who Love Keeping Seniors Active
Helping an aging in place senior loved one exercise regularly can be hard when you have your own household to manage or live far away. When you need a hand, call First In Care. As a fully licensed and insured home care agency, our highly trained caregivers love helping seniors stay active so they can continue aging comfortably in place right where they want to be.
While serving as an extended family in your loved one’s home, our carefully screened aides can also perform duties like light housework, personal hygiene, food shopping, meals, medication reminders, transportation and companionship. And, all our family trusted home care services can be individually tailored in an affordable package when and where you need them! To learn more about First In Care, or to schedule a FREE, in-home assessment for a senior in Manatee County, FL, today, please visit: www.firstincare.com now.