Low-Impact Cardio & Strength Training For Seniors
Posted on February 05 2021
ave simple acts of pulling up your socks or reaching for something high up which once used to be like the snap of a finger (which you did effortlessly) gotten miserable as you aged? As you age, the amount of your physical activity reduces and your tight and sore muscles make it difficult to push yourself do things that were once simple and easy.
Don’t lose heart! We have had requests for an easy to do home workout advice for seniors, and today I’ll be taking you through an easy to follow low impact workouts designed exclusively for seniors to be done right at the comfort of your home.
As prior advice, please seek a healthcare or fitness professional should you have any issues concerning your knees or health before trying these exercises.
How Do Seniors Benefit From Low Impact Exercises
Improved heart rate and blood pressure
Revved up metabolism
Increased production of endorphins, which can elevate mood
Deliberately delaying the effects of aging like cognitive decline
Enhanced sleep quality
Managing a healthy weight
Improved muscle mass and bone density
Improving the overall quality of living
Seniors face the loss of muscle mass which can impair balance and mobility. Adding low impact physical activity into your daily routine is vital for strengthening of muscles, improved flexibility and improved health benefits.
1. ARM RAISES
Stand straight, lift your arms from the hips overhead, inhale, put arms down and repeat.
This simple but effective exercise can be performed either standing or sitting on a chair.
Benefits: The simple arm raises help to improve circulation, open up your tight shoulders, strengthen weak shoulders and arms, can help avoid lower back pain and increase the flexibility of arms.
2. HEAD TURNS
Stand straight with your back straight and your shoulders relaxed, turn your head slowly to the left side until you feel a slight stretch and turn back to the centre. Now turn to the right and back to the centre. Perform this series of repetitions keeping your breathing normal.
Benefits: The head turns help decrease tightness in the neck and increase mobility in the neck. This is great for loosening neck muscles, relax neck and shoulders.
3. YOGA (SUKHASANA)
The Sukhasana (the easy sitting pose) yoga exercise is done by sitting cross-legged, keeping the spine erect and concentrating on breathing.
Those having trouble sitting down or crossing legs can perform this by standing or sitting on a chair.
Benefits: Sukhasana helps draw you deep inside, leading you to a meditative state, induces calmness of mind, improves circulation in your hips, legs, spine and improves sleep.
4. LIFTING WEIGHTS
Weight lifting shouldn’t mean a strenuous activity. Pick dumbbell of appropriate weight to suit your capacity. Hold dumbbells in each hand, lift them straight up to touch your chest and lower them slowly and steadily.
Benefits: Helps maintain muscle mass and muscle size, can strengthen bone mass, reduce the chance of fractures.
5. STATIONARY RUNNING
Stationary running/jogging on a treadmill at low speed or without equipment can be performed to avoid the risk of falling or getting injured outside.
Benefits: Stationary running helps your manage weight, prevents muscle loss, offers benefits of musculoskeletal and cardio health.
6. HEEL RAISES
Sit on a chair and slowly raise your heel off the floor while keeping your knees straight. Hold for 5 seconds and slowly lower your heels to the floor.
This exercise can be done in a standing position also by holding a chair or wall for support.
You can keep a ball at the bottom of the foot, this helps in inducing pressure on the painful spot and healing pain.
Benefits: Heel raises strengthens muscles of your calves, strengthen the alignment between foot and ankle. It’s also good for knee and back pain.
7. STANDING ON ONE LEG
Stand upright with your feet together. Lift one foot off the ground and grab it with your arms to feel unsteady. Hold for a second. Return to the starting position and perform with the opposite leg.
Be cautious while doing this exercise, try always to have someone next to you or keep a sturdy, stable object near you so that you can hold it in case you feel like unsteady.
Benefits: Standing on one led improves body balance, the functional ability of the brain, helps rehabilitate your ankles, reduce knee pain and hip pain.
8. PUSH UPS ON WALL/CHAIR
Stand about 2 feet away from the wall, place your palms on the wall, your hands should be shoulder-width apart. Keep your body straight and lean towards the wall by bending your elbows. Now press against the wall to straighten back up. Make sure your pushing and pulling movement is controlled by your arms. Do a minimum of 10 pushups.
Benefits: Pushups on the wall help strengthen your upper body and stretch your back muscles effectively.
9. TREE POSE
Stand straight with a long, tall back and your feet aligned. Slowly shift your weight to your left leg by placing your right foot on your left thigh. Hold for 10-15 seconds. Stretch your arms straight up overhead.
If you find it tough to place your foot on your thigh, try to place it above your knees but not right on your knees as you may tend to fall.
Benefits: Tree pose strengthens legs, hips, improves neuromuscular coordination, concentration, stability and balance.
10. CHAIR SQUATS
This exercise is better performed having a chair behind you, however, if you are fit enough, you can do it without a chair.
Stand in front of a chair facing away from it, gently go to the sitting posture by descending your hips, bending your knees and with arms stretched out in front, without actually sitting on the chair. Squeeze your glutes and hamstrings while you return to the starting position.
Benefits: Chair squat is great for strengthening leg muscles, core muscles, and strengthening muscles of the lower body and build body balance.
Before starting these exercising, always remember to keep a water bottle close to you and take breaks when you need it…