Whether younger or older, you probably hear all the time about the benefits that exercise can bring to your health. But as a senior, you already pay close attention to your health and wellness. Even so, you may be surprised at the many ways that just a bit of added exercise can aid you.
You don’t have to engage in an extreme exercise routine or put a high amount of physical pressure on your body to have a healthy exercise plan. Here are some low-intensity fitness activities that are recommended by expert caregivers. West Philadelphia seniors, or older adults anywhere, can use these to create a more active lifestyle and improve their health.
Yoga From Your Seat
You may have done yoga before, specific exercises that utilize breathing and meditation. These, however, are often done while standing. Chair yoga simply takes out that part of the process, making it a more low-impact exercise that doesn’t put any added pressure on your back or joints.
Chair yoga can help with balance and flexibility while also improving mental health. Exercising with chair yoga increases circulation as well. See if these different chair yoga exercises are right for you based on their low-intensity workout levels:
- Overhead stretch
- Seated forward bend
- Eagle arms
- Reverse arm hold
- Single leg stretch
Make sure that you are planted firmly in your seat and use a comfy chair for these exercises. This will ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable chair yoga session.
Aerobics With a Splash
Water aerobics is an excellent way for older adults to engage in exercise. Typically, aerobics is a high-intensity form of exercise. However, doing aerobics in the water creates a more low-intensity exercise experience. This also makes it easier for older adults who might be experiencing chronic joint pain.
This type of exercise in a pool utilizes water’s natural resistance, which has a much lighter intensity than using heavier weights with aerobics. Water aerobics also puts less stress on your joints, which can reduce arthritis pain. Like with chair yoga, it can also improve your flexibility and balance. This will help eliminate the possibility of falls and other emergencies.
If you’re just starting with water aerobics, try the popular exercise “aqua jogging.” This involves a moderately-paced jog from one side of the pool to the other. This is a low-intensity exercise that heightens your heart rate to a safe workout level, ensuring you’re getting a stable physical activity. If necessary, you can march in place as well to get a smaller water aerobics workout in.
Pilates Made Easy
Pilates was invented in the 1920s, but it wasn’t until the mid-2000s that it gained massive popularity. And there’s a reason: it’s an overall low-impact combination of exercises that emphasize breathing, endurance, and full-body postural alignment. It’s also a great way for adults to strengthen their core muscles, hips, and thighs.
Senior adults, in particular, utilize Pilates to help improve their balance, posture, flexibility, and mental focus. While Pilates exercises are usually done on the floor with a mat, you can first try out a more low-intensity form of Pilates–especially if you have osteoporosis or another type of bone issue. Chair Pilates exercises that are modified for senior adults are a great way to get into this form of low-intensity exercise. You can also practice small Pilates exercises while standing, such as setting your posture, lifting up, and lowering down.
As older adults, maintaining an active lifestyle is not only possible but easier to achieve than ever before. Adding exercise into our health routine doesn’t need to be an extreme or drastic step. These low-intensity workout recommendations can be simple additions that bring enormously beneficial effects to our health and wellness.