As we age, it’s important to stay active. Seniors might find that they prefer sticking to low impact activities, as opposed to activities like running, which can be hard on your joints. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to get your heart rate pumping while being gentle on your joints.
Go For a Walk
Walking is one of the best ways for seniors to stay fit. It doesn’t take a whole lot of planning, and you can do it just about anywhere. All you need to get started is a good pair of walking shoes. Walking shoes should provide good cushioning and heel support. It’s important to get the right fit – your toes should not be pinched, and your heel should not slip out.
On a nice day, it’s a perfect excuse to get outside and soak up some sunshine. You’ll love exploring your neighbourhood and experiencing the gorgeous colors that nature has to offer in each season. If the weather isn’t cooperating, you can also bring your walk indoors. Look for an indoor track to stroll around, or head to the nearest mall to get in some window shopping while you exercise. You can also hop on a treadmill if it’s safe for you to do so – just make sure you keep it at a comfortable pace and don’t go too fast.
Hop In The Pool
Swimming is a fantastic way to get your heart rate up while protecting your bones and joints. Being in the water relieves stress on your bones and joints, which means you’re at less of a risk for injury when you’re swimming. It’s also great because your whole body is involved – your arms, legs, and core are all working to keep you moving through the water.
To keep things interesting and challenging, you can change up which strokes you use during your sessions. If you are new to swimming, or want to learn some new techniques, many pools and community centres offer adult swim classes.
Jump For Joy (With Gentle Forms of Aerobics)
When you think of aerobics, you probably don’t immediate think of low impact exercise. However, there are a bunch of different forms of aerobic exercise that don’t involve a ton of jumping and leaping like those old workout videos from the 1980s.
Chair aerobics classes are great for those who might not be able to stand for long periods of time, since sessions take place in a seated position. You’ll get your arms and legs moving, and you won’t have to worry about losing your balance.
Water aerobics is a little closer to traditional aerobics classes, but you’ll be moving inside a pool. It combines traditional cardio moves with strength training for a low-impact, full-body workout. Being in the water takes the stress off your bones and joints, while also providing resistance to work those muscles.
Dancing also counts as aerobic exercise, and is an incredibly fun way to keep fit. Learning new steps and routines is a great way to keep your brain sharp, while also getting your heart rate up.
Stretch Out with Yoga
If you think practicing yoga means you have to be super flexible, think again. While some forms of yoga can certainly be quite intense, there are a number of gentle, easy forms of yoga that are perfect for seniors. It’s all about slow and gentle movements, which strengthen your muscles as well as stretch them out. Yoga is also great for improving balance, since it often focuses on building core muscles. Look for classes designed specifically for seniors or beginners.
Work on Building Those Muscles
You don’t have to lift heavy weights in order to build strength. Stick to lighter weights, or just work with your own bodyweight. Try to split up your sessions so you’re working a different muscle group each time, and make sure you don’t work the same muscle group two days in a row. It’s a good idea to take some sessions with a trainer when you’re first starting out, in order to make sure you’re learning how to keep proper form. If you can’t afford a trainer, there are lots of videos online that take you through specific workouts designed for seniors.
At Bria Communities, we understand how important it is for our residents to stay active. We offer a wide variety of fitness classes and activity groups designed to keep seniors moving while having fun. Our professionally-trained, certified recreation staff is always on hand to ensure our residents stay safe while exercising.