Getting a healthy dose of physical activity and exercise is important for people of all ages, young or old. Just 20-30 minutes of regular physical activity will go a long way to keeping a person’s body healthy and fit, but there are a lot more reasons to stay active in the golden years. People who exercise more frequently tend to display more mental alertness, fewer incidences of stress and depression as well and report higher levels of overall well-being.
In addition, low impact exercises can be a great way to ease symptoms associated with chronic joint pain, arthritis and osteoporosis, as well as lowering the risk of developing heart disease and other common conditions that people tend to become more at risk for developing with age.
However, sometimes staying active on a consistent base can become difficult for older people who may have developed physical limitations that prevent them from engaging in some in the activities they once did. This can be particularly true of high impact sports which can have a major impact on the bones and joints and could lead to injuries or fractures that may necessitate an anterior hip replacement in the Fox Cities or elsewhere in the future. This can be compounded by hot temperatures or other factors that can also increase the risk of heatstroke or dehydration.
There is no set time that people have to give up higher impact activities. After all, many people actually wait until their golden years to fully devote themselves to physically demanding activities like mountain climbing, downhill skiing or even higher impact sports like baseball or basketball. That said, it is also important for seniors to be especially conscious of their bodies when exercising. This is especially true of people who have had any type of joint-related condition or surgery like a knee replacement in the Fox Cities.
If a particular type of physical activity is causing pain or excessive strain on the body, it is probably time to slow it down and replace it with a safer, more low impact form of cardio. These types of exercises still allow people to enjoy all the fantastic benefits that come with living an active lifestyle while keeping uncomfortable joint and muscle tension at bay, lowering cholesterol and improving cardiac health.
So what are some great low impact exercises that people can enjoy at virtually any age? Read on to find out.
Walking is a great way for seniors to stay fit for a number of reasons. First of all, it is the type of activity that need not require equipment.
Indeed, all a person needs to head out on a walk is a safe pathway and a sense of adventure. Walking outdoors can be a great way for seniors on a budget to skip on the gym or class fees while still getting a healthy dose of nature. That said, urban landscapes can still provide for fantastic walking paths as well. It’s really about making use of what’s available.
Moreover, it is the type of activity that is easy to do in a group. Socializing is yet another thing that is correlated with an overall sense of well-being in seniors, and walking provides a great way to hit two birds with one stone. Most communities will have walking clubs that can be easy to join up and can provide a great way to make new friends and social contacts. That said, there is no reason that walking can’t be enjoyed as a solitary activity as well.
In addition, walking is the type of activity that is readily accessible to many people who might suffer from other types of physical limitations. Even people who use a walker or wheelchair can still partake on a daily roll course around the block. It provides a fantastic excuse to get out of the house or into the world. Just keep in mind that it is important to be conscious of the sun and heat levels. It is usually a good idea to avoid walking in the midday hours and use an indoor treadmill instead on those particularly hot days.
Biking is yet another awesome low impact form of cardio that it will be particularly safe for most seniors to engage in. However, there is a risk of falls, so anybody who suffers from arthritis or joint pain will want to check in first with their orthopedic surgeon in the Fox Cities to make sure that this type of activity will be safe to practice.
In general, though, bikes allow people a convenient way to cover more ground than walking or running without having to worry about putting stress or strain on their joints. In this sense, a bike can be an economically friendly and fun way for seniors to get around without having to worry about keeping a driver's license up to date or the costs associated with maintaining a vehicle.
Another great thing about biking is that people can tailor the activity level to suit what they are comfortable with. Gears provide a convenient way to make an impact more or less difficult, even on flat terrain and a bike need not be expensive in order to work well. All that is important is that the bike is well-tuned and up to date on all necessary safety features.
Swimming or Rowing
Swimming and many other types of water sports like rowing, for example, are yet another all-age friendly activity that can provide tons of enjoyment and fantastic health benefits throughout a person’s lifetime.
When people exercise in water, they take virtually all the impact off of their joints, so swimming or aqua aerobics classes are often a great way for people of all ages to stay healthy and fit. Another fun thing about swimming is it in one of those activities that can be enjoyed indoors or outdoors, and can often provide a convenient social outlet as well.
Those who are particularly inclined to outdoor activities or who have a lake or other type of body of water readily accessible might also want to take up rowing. Rowing keeps the core muscles and the arms strong and active, and thus, can help improve balance and lower the risk of falls. Those who don’t have access to a kayak or canoe can also hit the rowing machine at their local gym providing that their local orthopedic specialist in the Fox Cities – Green Bay, Appleton, Oshkosh, Fond du Lac – gives them the go-ahead for this type of activity.