Low Impact Exercises for Staying Fit at 70 and Beyond!

For aging adults, it is important to stay active. Being engaged with some type of activity or workout regimen will lead to more successful aging, including maintaining mobility and even preventing declines in cognitive functioning. However, for many aging adults, activity and exercise becomes more challenging. This can be due to health concerns, such as chronic joint pain. The solution is to engage in low impact exercises that will allow for activity, while still being gentle on the body.

If you are a senior looking to stay active, safely, consider these low impact exercises:

1.       Walking

One of the easiest low impact exercises is walking. Its ease is made in part by its easy access. You do not need any special equipment to walk, other than an appropriate pair of shoes. This activity will appeal to seniors who enjoyed running during their younger days, and nature lovers who like any excuse to get outside. Depending on where you reside, you may be able to go for a daily walk outside year-round. If your location sometimes has inclement weather, you can look for a local mall to walk in. Many open early for mall walkers. If you were inclined, you could also invest in a treadmill for your home.

2.       Swimming

Another low impact exercise that many seniors will be familiar with, is swimming. Swimming is particularly recommended for seniors that have arthritis. Using water-based exercises, can help to maintain the muscles, which will actually relieve the joint pain typically associated with arthritis. Now, this activity does require access to a pool. Many senior living communities now offer pools for residents, or at least provide transportation to local facilities that feature a pool. Gyms and YMCA’s often offer senior discounts so that aging adults can more easily afford a membership.

3.       Yoga or Pilates or Tai Chi

Many seniors may be less familiar with yoga, pilates, and tai chi. These are all forms of low impact activity, often combined with meditation or mindfulness practices. Each has some cultural origins and although they have been used for centuries, they have all grown in popularity across the United States, during just the last few decades. If you would like to try any of these, you can take classes or watch videos to guide you through the routines. Given the growing popularity of these among seniors, many senior living communities offer classes for their residents to exercise as a group.

4.       Indoor Cycling or Elliptical Use

Another great option for seniors, especially those in inclement climates, is the use of an indoor stationary bicycle or elliptical machine. Both pieces of exercise equipment offer low impact exercise. For many a cycle is a good option because they are able to sit rather than put continuous weight on their legs. Yet, they can work out their joints and muscles to maintain the strength and flexibility. For others, an elliptical is a great alternative to an indoor treadmill because it allows for a walking motion without any impact that might negatively affect the joints. Instead, there is a fluid motion of the legs.

Any of these low impact exercises would be a great option for seniors. Many might most enjoy using a combination of these to stay active. As aging adults look for residential options, such as senior living communities, it is a good idea to ask about exercise equipment, walking paths, and access to pools.