Best Low Impact Exercises for Seniors
Exercise is vital when it comes to feeling and looking our best, especially as we get older.
Shockingly, by the age of 75, roughly one in three men and one in two women won’t participate in any physical activity!
Let’s change this statistic.
Keeping active is essential for preventing heart disease, diabetes, and tackling painful joints.
It’s also fabulous for improving your balance, flexibility, and strength which enables seniors to stay healthier for longer – what’s not to love about that?
So, this post’s dedicated to exploring low impact exercises for seniors and their benefits.
Let’s dive in.
The Importance of Low Impact Exercises for Seniors
Before we move onto the specifics, we felt it necessary to talk about the importance of low impact exercises for seniors.
As we get older our mobility declines -it’s a sad fact of life. This is sometimes due to our stiff and painful joints. Consequently, this can stop us from participating in exercise regularly.
This is where low impact exercises for seniors come into their own.
They’re ideally designed to put minimal strain on the body while keeping you active.
Or, you might have found that you’ve put off exercise for too long, so you’re struggling to get back into it.
Again, low impact exercises for seniors provides a perfect opportunity to ease your way back into working out.
You should consider taking up any of the following;
- Exercising in water (Swimming/water aerobics)
- Lightweight training.
If any of these activities get too much, modify them to make them less intense.
If you’re unsure whether to participate in any of the exercises discussed in this article, consult your doctor.
Try as many different exercises as you can. This is the best way to figure out what you enjoy doing. When you find something you love, it makes it easier to stick at.
Perhaps you could join your local walking club. Use exercise as a way of meeting new people and socializing. Maybe get a friend involved – this will help you both stay accountable when it comes to exercise.
With that said, here are a few low impact exercises for seniors – you might want to give them a go.
Any form of aerobic activity is great for burning fat, lowering blood pressure, and boosting energy.
Don’t overly push yourself; it’ll take time to build up endurance.
We suggest starting with just a five-minute cardio session, three days a week. When you do this, try to raise your heart rate.
Once, you’ve mastered this, gradually build up to doing 30-minutes of daily aerobic exercises.
The below exercises are a great example of low impact exercises for seniors;
- Power walking
Or, if you’re up for something a little more intense, try hiking or go for a run.
Strengthen Your Upper Body Strength
Building up your muscles might take some time, so stay motivated.
These low impact exercises for seniors are perfect for your upper body strength;
- Squat in front of a sturdy chair and put your arms out in front of you
- Ensure your knees don’t go past your toes
- Squat in a kind of sitting position
- Hold this pose for 10 seconds
- Then stand straight
- Take your time before repeating this exercise
- If this is too much, hold onto the chair to steady yourself
- When you’re ready to step it up a notch, you can do the same exercise while holding light weights
This next exercise also requires lightweights.
- Sit or stand with your feet flat on the floor
- Lift the weights to your shoulder height
- Your palms should be facing forward
- Then, extend your hands above your head
This next exercise is very similar to the previous one. It’s called a sidearm raise.
- Hold your weights by your sides
- Your palms should be facing inwards
- Then raise your arms out to the side
- Feel free to mix things up by doing the same movements but instead, raise the weights in front of you
Try to do two sets of 10 reps for these exercises. If you stick at it, you’ll find lifting heavier everyday objects easier. Just give it time.
This exercise is also great for improving arm and shoulder strength.
To, execute this, you need to do the following;
- Stand approximately two feet in front of a wall
- Place your hands on the wall at both shoulder height and width
- Keep your back straight
- Bend your elbows to lower your chest to the wall slowly
- Your heels should come off the floor
- Then straighten your elbows and repeat this exercise
- If you need to make this exercise easier, just move closer to the wall
Like all the exercises discussed in this article, do not overexert yourself.
Strengthen Your Thighs and Hips
Leg raises are effective if you’re looking to strengthen your thigh, hip, buttocks, and lower back.
Plus, it’s fabulous for improving your balance. Consequently, reducing the chance of a fall or, breaking a bone.
Here’s what you need to do to complete this exercise;
- Start with one leg and move it out to the side
- Keep your leg in line with your hip
- Keep your back straight and your supporting leg very slightly bent
- Then slowly lower the leg
You can also do a similar exercise called the back leg raise;
- Slowly lift your leg behind you
- Don’t lean forward
- Hold this pose for 10 seconds and then gently lower your leg
For both of these exercises, try to do two sets of 10 reps (for both legs). Then, change legs in between sets.
Lying Hip Bridges
This exercise focuses on working your glutes and hips. If you spend a lot of time sitting your bones can get tight.
To do this exercise correctly, do the following;
- Lie flat on your back
- Bend your knees
- Keep your feet flat on the floor
- Keep your lower back firmly against the floor
- Clench your bottom
- Elevate your hips
- Push using the whole of your foot (it should feel like you’re attempting to push your toes through the front of your shoes)
- Hold this pose for 10 seconds
- Slowly lower your hips
Repeat this exercise as many times as you feel able to.
Side Lying Circles
This exercise is perfect for strengthening your hips which is ideal for improving mobility.
This exercise requires you to do the following;
- Lie straight on one side
- Lift your arm above your head and rest it on the bottom of your arm
- Squeeze your abdominals muscles so you’re stomachs sucked in
- Keep your hips directly over each other
- Lift your leg to approximately hip height
- Then while your leg’s suspended in the air move it so that your foot makes a small circular motion (clockwise)
- Pause for a moment
- Then repeat this exercise to make a counter-clockwise motion
- Slowly lower your leg to the floor
- Repeat the above instructions on your opposite side
You should feel this exercise working your upper thigh and hip muscles.
Improve Your Flexibility
Flexibility is imperative for keeping mobile. So, these are great examples of low impact exercises for seniors.
For this task, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and keep your arms by your sides.
Next, stretch both your arms and clasp your hands.
Make sure you keep your shoulders back and hold this pose for approximately 30 seconds.
The following stretch is also fabulous for promoting flexibility.
Firstly, assume the same standing position.
However, this time raise your arms and clasp your hands in front of you, and face your palms outwards. Again, hold for 30-seconds.
This exercise is a good allrounder because it works a lot of muscle groups. Namely your arms and legs.
It’s called the ‘Quadruped Opposite Arm and Leg Balance Exercise.’ Like many of the previous exercises, it’s fabulous for improving your overall balance.
It’s also a great exercise to do if you want to strengthen both your back and abdominal muscles.
- Get on all fours
- Your hands should be placed directly under your shoulders
- Your knees should be under your hips
- Keep your back straight
- Tense your abdominal muscles
- Reach your arm straight in front of your shoulder while simultaneously lifting the opposite foot behind you
- Try to hold this pose for three breaths
- Now, slowly lower both your hand and foot and return to the position you started in
- Repeat the above steps on your opposite side
This exercise is tougher. So if your strength and balance aren’t up to this just yet don’t worry. You can work towards eventually executing this one.
Are You Hoping to Tackle These Low Impact Exercises for Seniors?
If this articles inspired you to give the above exercises a try, we think you’ll love our exercise tips. Over there you’ll find plenty of advice on keeping fit and healthy.
Additionally, if you have any questions or queries on how we can help you to start exercising from the comfort of your own home, please fill out our contact form.
One of our helpful team member’s will be in contact as soon as they can.