The Best The Best Low-Impact Exercises for SeniorsThe Best

Category Blog | Time 3 Minutes | Published May 02, 2023

Discover the top exercises tailored for seniors along with tips to kick-start your journey, stay motivated, and relish the rewards of an active lifestyle. Prioritizing physical activity is essential for everyone, particularly for seniors, to maintain overall health and well-being.

At Burcham Hills, we know that engaging in regular exercise offers numerous health advantages, including boosted cardiovascular health, improved mental well-being, and fostering independence among seniors. Furthermore, emerging evidence suggests that it may even mitigate the progression of dementia.

Let’s take a look at some more benefits of exercising, what to know before you start exercising, examples of low-impact exercises for seniors, and things to keep in mind so you stay motivated and healthy on your fitness journey.

What To Consider Before Starting an Exercise Routine

When you are about to start an exercise routine, it’s crucial to consider several factors. You should talk to your doctor or physical therapist to identify exercises that align with your needs and health status. Monitor for any discomfort or pain during workouts and make adjustments accordingly.

Begin by engaging in shorter sessions with lower intensity, gradually increasing both duration and intensity as your fitness improves. To maintain commitment over time, it’s essential to choose exercises you find enjoyable and to explore a variety of activities.

Benefits of Exercise for Seniors

There are so many benefits of exercises for seniors. Older adults who exercise on a regular basis may experience the following benefits:

What Are the Types of Exercise?

If you haven’t seen the inside of a gym in a while, the terms weight-bearing, non-weight-bearing, and resistance exercises might be new to you.

  • Weight-bearing exercises are those that bear weight on your frame. These types of exercises include walking, jogging, stair climbing, tennis, and dancing.
  • Resistance exercises include all weight training or lifting weights. 
  • Non-weight-bearing exercises include yoga, tai chi, Pilates, cycling, and swimming. These are very gentle on your joints.

A good workout program can include all these workout types.

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Top 5 Exercises for Seniors at Burcham Hills

Below, we’ve compiled the best exercises for older adults who want to incorporate more physical activity into their lives:

1. Walking for Seniors

Walking is an accessible, low-impact exercise for seniors, requiring no special equipment. It improves cardiovascular health, builds endurance, strengthens muscles, reduces high blood pressure, maintains joint flexibility, enhances coordination, and boosts mood. Whether indoors or outdoors, walking offers numerous health benefits and can be tailored to individual preferences, significantly improving overall well-being.

Burcham Hills has the unique benefit of having beautiful green spaces. As a spacious community, residents have ample opportunities to enjoy the sun and fresh air. 

2. Yoga for Seniors

Yoga and similar non-weight-bearing exercises improve range of motion, like bending your knees or raising your arms. They may also enhance sleep quality for seniors. These types of exercises are effective methods for building strength, reducing stress, improving flexibility, and promoting better posture and mental well-being.

You can also reap the benefits of yoga while you sit in a chair. Chair exercises for seniors offer adaptable options for those with limited mobility, including cardio, strength training, yoga, and full-body workouts.

These routines improve strength, flexibility, heart rate, posture, and circulation while minimizing joint strain. To start, explore programs at local centers or online, using a sturdy chair or wheelchair.

3. Strength Training for Seniors

Strength training offers immense benefits for seniors, and it’s never too late to start. Whether you’re training upper body, lower body, or working to recover after an injury, you can use  weights, resistance bands, or bodyweight exercises to build strength. It’s essential to begin gradually and follow safety guidelines.

Building muscle strength is crucial for maintaining independence, preventing osteoporosis, maintaining a healthy weight, and improving balance and coordination. Consulting a professional for proper form can help prevent injuries and maximize benefits.

4. Fall Prevention Exercises for Seniors

There are plenty of low-impact exercises focused on preventing falls for seniors. These exercises can include:

  • Standing Heel Raises: This will strengthen the calves and ankles and improve stability.
  • Leg Lifts: Adding this exercise to a regimen will enhance hip and thigh strength and support your balance.
  • Marching in Place: Include this exercise to improve coordination and strengthen leg muscles.
  • Side Leg Raises: This will strengthen hips and thighs and enhance balance and stability.
  • Sit-to-Stand Exercises: Do this exercise to build strength in the legs and core and improve the ability to rise from a seated position safely.
  • Ankle Circles: Improves ankle flexibility and Enhances stability and prevents stiffness
  • Toe and Heel Walks: Strengthens calves and feet and Improves balance and walking stability

Burcham Hills offers fall prevention classes so residents can stay mobile and confident in their independence. 

5. Cardio Drumming

This interesting form of cardio is a favorite among residents at Burcham Hills. Cardio drumming is a low-impact exercise because it involves gentle, rhythmic movements that are easy on the joints. Here’s why:

  • Smooth Movements: Drumming and simple dance steps are controlled, reducing joint strain.
  • Adjustable Intensity: Participants can modify the intensity to match their fitness level.
  • Supportive Posture: Options for seated or wide-base standing help maintain balance and reduce injury risk.
  • Minimal Impact: Focuses on continuous motions without jumping or running, minimizing stress on knees, hips, and back.
  • Encourages Mobility: Promotes a full range of motion, improving flexibility and muscle tone without high impact.

These features make cardio drumming suitable for individuals of all ages, including seniors or those with joint issues.

At Burcham Hills, it’s easy to find fitness classes or activities that will help you stay strong and fit.  

Tips for Staying Motivated

Staying motivated can be challenging, but here are some helpful tips: Set achievable goals to stay motivated and celebrate your progress. Keeping a journal or using an app can help track your routine and improvements. Taking photos before, during and after can also boost motivation.

Enlist a friend or family member for mutual support and accountability. Joining a fitness group or club can make exercise more enjoyable. Finally, mix up your routines to keep things interesting and your body challenged.

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The Importance of Rest and Recovery

Rest and recovery are crucial for your body’s health. Pay attention to signs of fatigue and allow yourself time to recover between workouts. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night to support muscle recovery and overall well-being. Incorporate relaxation practices such as deep breathing and meditation, and look into stretching exercises for seniors to help your body recover and manage stress. 

Wellness and Vitality at Burcham Hills 

At Burcham Hills, we prioritize a healthy lifestyle for seniors. We offer a variety of care support and living options to enhance the lives of seniors looking to maintain health and wellness.

Call us today at (517) 459-0727 and discover the best place to thrive, stay active, and create lasting connections.