We all know that exercise is an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise helps us maintain a healthy weight, sleep better, reduce stress, and even ward off diseases and other health risks.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, adults over the age of 65 should try to get at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity each week, in addition to strength training activities twice a week. If you’re looking for some simple, low impact activity to add to your daily routine, check out these popular exercises for older adults. And remember; always talk to your doctor before trying any new exercise regimen.
Walking is one of the best low impact endurance exercises for older adults because it limits stress on joints while conditioning the entire body. Many retirement communities have indoor fitness centers as well as paved outdoor walking trails so older adults can enjoy the benefits of walking in the comfort of their community. Before you add walking to your daily exercise routine, make sure your walking shoes fit properly and offer plenty of support and cushioning. After your walk, take some time to stretch your calves and hamstrings to allow your muscles to recover.
Swimming is another activity that is easy on the joints and good for heart health. This is because the buoyancy of the water gently supports your body weight and relieves pressure on joints. Moving through water also provides resistance to tone and strengthen muscles. Many seniors enjoy swimming or doing water aerobics for a full-body, low impact workout.
Tai chi is a traditional Chinese exercise that has been practiced for centuries. Tai chi involves a series of graceful, slow poses that people of all ages and fitness levels can do to improve their balance, stretch tight muscles, and increase overall concentration and focus.
Seated exercises are a great alternative for older adults with limited mobility or balance issues. These exercises are low impact and low endurance, allowing older adults to build strength and flexibility while minimizing their risk of injury. Seated exercises may involve using small weights, resistance bands, or exercise balls to help older adults improve strength without putting excess pressure on their joints.
When it comes to meeting your daily exercise goals, it helps to choose an activity that you enjoy. Most retirement communities have expert physical therapists and exercise physiologists on staff to help residents find an exercise routine that’s safe, fun, and effective.