Going out for your morning run is a great way to start the day. You can then follow it up with other exercises or workouts to keep your body in shape and healthy. However, as we grow old, our bodies become less suitable to perform such activities. But this shouldn’t be a problem. Interestingly, there are various ways for older adults to exercise to stay fit and healthy. Rigorous training may not be ideal for pumping our bodies during our senior years; working on low-impact stretching exercises is the perfect way to keep our bodies active without overdoing it.
What is a Low-Impact Exercise?
A low-impact exercise is a type of activity that minimally engages your body. Unlike high-impact workouts, low-impact exercises have a lower impact on our joints, which is why it is the ideal activity for seniors. You get to keep your body active, improve blood circulation, and stay fit without exerting too much strain on your body. There are various exercises categorized as low-impact; these include walking, yoga, swimming, and cycling.
Interestingly, low-impact exercise is not only best for older adults; other people also perform this type of exercise for various reasons. Workout beginners are encouraged to practice low-impact exercises to help the body adapt gradually to much more complex workouts. In addition to this, athletes also perform this type of exercise when recovering from an injury. Whatever the reason may be, a low-impact exercise is an ideal activity for people seeking an easy workout without over-stressing the body.
Example of Low-Impact Exercises
As mentioned earlier, a low-impact exercise is a simple activity to keep our bodies active without getting too exhausted. Low-impact exercises have a lot of benefits to our bodies; they increase our blood flow, reduce stress, improve mood, recover from injury, as well as help us sleep better at night. There are different low-impact exercises a senior can perform, which could range from simple tasks, such as walking, and much more complex activities like yoga. Here are examples of low-impact stretching exercises best for older adults:
- Single-Leg Stand: A single-led stand is probably one of the most common low-impact stretching exercises you can do. It is a common warm-up activity both for children and adults, and it is pretty simple to do. Seniors can also benefit from this amazing exercise. To do this, you need to find something sturdy to serve as your support, such as a wall or post. Once you have your body supported, you stand tall with your legs a few feet apart, then gently lift one of your feet. Raise your foot for thirty seconds, then switch the other leg.
- Arm Opener: Just like the single-leg stand, you need to stand with your legs a few feet apart, then put your hands behind your back. Make sure to have a comfortable posture with your knuckles pointing down and your hands interlaced. Keep your gentle posture as you look straight ahead, then slowly lift your arms away from the tailbone. Lift your arms as far as you can to achieve an excellent stretch. This exercise is a great way to stretch your arms, shoulders, and chest.
- Hula Hoop: If you are familiar with using a hula hoop, then this exercise would be pretty simple. To do this, just stand with your feet closed, and put your hands on your waist. Once you are in the position, perform a hula hoop without the actual hoop; you just move your hips in a circular motion. Repeat this step five times in a clockwise direction, then another five times in a counter-clockwise direction.
- Chin Drop: If you want to engage your upper body and help recover from neck pain, chin drop is an ideal exercise for you. To do this, you keep your palms and elbows close together and place your arms in front of you. Then you gently put your palms on top of your head, giving it a light stretch. Once you have this position, slowly drop your chin, where it should touch your upper chest. Performing a chin drop is a great way to stretch the neck and shoulders, which is also advisable when experiencing neck pain.