Being active never goes out of style. But, as we age, it becomes more difficult to bend and stretch, let alone have the energy to go out for a run or lift weights. Fortunately, there’s no need to push yourself outside of what’s safe and acceptable just to reap the benefits of exercise. There are many low-impact exercises that are perfect for older adults. Below are four of our favorites!
Yoga is an amazing activity that comes in many different types and styles. In other words, you don’t need to bend like a pretzel to benefit from yoga! Restorative yoga, for example, focuses on light stretching and muscle strengthening. This helps with your balance and flexibility, as well as lowers the blood pressure and improves mental wellness. Yoga is always a top choice for seniors, especially in the winter when depression and anxiety are more common.
Swimming is another wonderful activity that is gentle on the body but highly beneficial. It protects arthritic joints and sore muscles, so you don’t have to be scared of swimming if you have a lot of aches and pains. The buoyancy of the water has a way of setting the body free so that you can enjoy a full range of motion without all the weight, soreness and stiffness. Look into local health clubs, park districts or YMCAs for swimming classes and open swim times.
3. Tai Chi
Many older adults don’t know much about Tai Chi, but when they try it, they can’t help but fall in love with it. Tai Chi is unique because it incorporates elements of martial arts with meditation. It offers many of the same benefits of yoga, such as relaxing the mind, stretching out sore muscles and improving balance and coordination. Like yoga and swimming, Tai Chi is gentle on the joints and can be modified for all body types.
4. Chair-Based Exercises
Chair-based aerobics is becoming more popular among seniors because of the flexibility it offers. These exercises are great for those who have trouble walking or balancing, so just about anyone can do them. Sitting in the chair, you can exercise your arms and legs, plus incorporate resistance bands or light weights for an added challenge. These chair-based exercises are good for improving muscle strength and bone health, which is good for those with osteoporosis.
Exercise provides benefits for all ages! Which activity is your favorite?