Seniors living with musculoskeletal conditions must be careful about the types of activities they enjoy. Low-impact exercise is an alternative means of engaging in physical activity without causing further damage. There are many exercises that do not require the jarring effects of conventional workouts.
Daily walks strengthen the cardiovascular system, bones, and muscles along with balance. Seniors need to merely walk for as long and as fast as they can tolerate. As they gain strength, they can increase the distance and move a little faster. Older adults can try walking for 30 minutes five to seven days a week at their own pace. Family members can join them to make the task more pleasant.
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Riding a conventional or stationary bike is a great way to get aerobic exercise, which is vital for cardiovascular health. The activity additionally strengthens leg bones and muscles while not adding any stress to the joints. Cycling is another activity in which seniors can participate at their own pace and increase intensity as they grow stronger. Riding a bike can also enhance respiratory system function.
Water buoyancy greatly reduces the amount of weight put on the weight-bearing joints. However, the water also provides enough resistance to strengthen major muscle groups. Older adults can join water aerobics classes, walk across the pool, or swim laps. All activities build strength and flexibility while enhancing the heart and vascular systems.
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Seniors should take the time to stretch for 5 to 10 minutes before and after engaging in any type of physical activity. Stretching warms up the muscles to increase flexibility and prepares them for exercise to prevent injury. Older adults can perform stretches while standing, sitting, or lying down.
5. Performing Tai Chi
This ancient Asian exercise requires participants to enact a series of gentle flowing movements using their arms and legs. The weight is often shifted from one leg to the other, which increases balance. Bones, muscles, and connective tissues gain strength. While performing the motions, seniors focus on their breathing. Each movement requires inhalation and exhalation at specific times.
Many fitness centers have rowing machines. Rowing gets the heart pumping, which provides a good cardio workout while strengthening the arms, back, abdominal, and leg muscles. The length of time on the machine and the intensity of the exercise can easily be adjusted to accommodate seniors according to their current ability level.
A pair of wrist and ankle weights are all that is needed to start a weight training routine. The devices can be worn while accomplishing daily tasks, going for walks, or performing specific exercises. Once older adults gain strength, they can increase the weight by graduating to dumbbells or free weights. Along with enhancing musculoskeletal health, weightlifting can also provide cardiovascular benefits.
Engaging in low-impact exercises is just one of the many ways older adults can boost their health and wellbeing. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional elderly care. Lincoln, Nebraska, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. To learn about our high-quality in-home care options, talk to one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at (402) 261-5158 today.