3 Gentle Exercises for Seniors
Regular exercise at every stage of life is important to improve our sleep, energize us, help us maintain a healthy weight, elevate our mood, and keep many health problems like high blood pressure or heart disease at bay.
As we age, the types of exercise we enjoy might look different. High-impact exercise like running or tennis can take a toll on our joints, leading to injury and reduced mobility. Low-impact exercises, on the other hand, are more gentle on the body and can be modified for all ages, skills, and abilities.
Seniors can get the most benefit from mixing different types of exercise that increase and improve cardiovascular health, strength, and flexibility.
The following are three great examples of low-impact exercises seniors can do to stay active and healthy:
Walking is one of the best forms of exercise available to seniors. Not only does a brisk walk increase your cardiovascular health, but it also helps lubricate the joints in your hips and knees, strengthens the supporting muscles, reduces arthritis-related pain, and improves mobility. It’s also easy to modify this exercise by changing the pace, distance, or amount of time you spend walking.
In addition, if you take a walk outside, you get the added benefits of reduced stress and improved mood from spending time in nature, as well as better balance that comes with adjusting your steps and gait to address different terrain. A walk can also be a good chance to spend time with friends, which can make this exercise option even more enjoyable.
2. Resistance Band Exercises
Strength training with resistance bands increases muscle strength and bone density without putting too much stress on joints. You can do many exercises, such as squats and chest fly moves. If you prefer to remain seated due to limited mobility, you can modify exercises to meet your needs.
3. Chair Yoga
As with walking, yoga is a low-impact exercise with many benefits. According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health, research shows that yoga contributes to healthy aging, positively affecting muscle strength, mobility, balance, flexibility, and mental wellness, among other things. Slow, controlled movements and deep breathing increase the flow of blood to your muscles, which reduces inflammation and stiffness, which is especially important for seniors.
Some senior living communities, like Solterra Senior Living communities, have successfully offered chair yoga classes. Chair yoga is a more accessible form of exercise that can be modified for seniors with more limited mobility. Doing classic yoga poses along with overhead stretches and twists while seated means that seniors can enjoy this form of exercise without worrying about getting up and down off the floor or trying to balance on one foot, which is common in the more traditional form.
Solterra Senior Living Communities Help You Stay Consistent
Whether you choose the exercises discussed here or find others that you enjoy, the best possible exercise is one that you enjoy and that you will want to do consistently. If you live in one of Solterra Senior Living’s assisted living communities, you have access to physical and occupational therapists who can help you develop an exercise routine that works for you. You can also take advantage of our wellness centers, fitness classes, and activities to stay healthy and active. Contact us to tour one of our communities today to see what we have to offer!