If you’re an older adult, chances are you’ve put on some extra pounds over the years. If you have high blood pressure or diabetes, losing this weight could be important for maintaining your health. That being said, traditional forms of exercise can sometimes be too physically demanding to be considered safe. If you’re looking for low impact cardio exercises for seniors, you should consider these options instead.
Aerobic exercise is low impact, meaning it won’t put too much stress on your joints. Aerobic exercises are particularly helpful if you’re looking to lose weight and improve your cardiovascular health without putting too much strain on your body. Some of our favorite aerobic exercises include strength training with hand weights or resistance bands, stretching, dancing, and cardio exercises like walking or jogging. We also suggest swimming because it burns calories and is also great for cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, and building muscle mass.
Build Muscles with Squats
If you’re looking to build muscles, there’s no need to go out and buy expensive machines or equipment. Instead, you can make use of things you already have in your house. If you don’t own weights, try filling up plastic water bottles with sand or rice, and lifting them when you exercise. This will create a stress effect on your muscles, which is akin to doing bicep curls with 2-pound dumbbells. Squats are another marvelous muscle-building exercise that can be done at home with minimal equipment: Stand behind a chair with your feet planted firmly on either side of it, and lower yourself by bending both knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
Stretch Your Lower Body
Believe it or not, your lower body contributes a lot to your leg strength and cardio capacity. Doing cardio exercises may not be suitable for some people. However, that doesn’t mean you need to give up on getting your heart rate up. With some easy-to-follow stretches and exercises, you can quickly and safely build muscle and endurance without putting yourself at risk for injuries. Be sure to talk with your doctor before trying out any new fitness plan!
Curl Those Biceps
A biceps curl is a simple exercise that requires no equipment and can be performed at home, so it’s a great way to get a workout in when you have a bit of time on your hands. Start by standing up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell or weight plate in each hand at your sides. Bend your elbows 90 degrees, keeping them close to your body as you slowly curl each arm toward your chest until they are entirely flexed at 90 degrees as well. Slowly return to starting position without letting either elbow move away from your body. Bend over slightly while performing curls to form a triangular shape with your arms and torso, or hold weights overhead to provide extra resistance for an added challenge.
Develop Body Strength with Push-Ups
You can develop upper-body strength with push-ups. If you’re not used to doing regular push-ups, start by doing them on your knees. You can aim for two sets of 10 to 20 repetitions. While doing push-ups, keep your back straight and concentrate on contracting your abdominal muscles (doing crunches while doing push-ups will help strengthen these muscles). After some practice, switch to floor push-ups until you can work up to a horizontal standing position. Focus on lowering yourself as slowly as possible, and ensure that you maintaining good form throughout. Remember to start small: Begin with a set of 10 or fewer reps and build from there until you can do two sets without needing to take a break.
Give Leg Raises a Go
If you’re looking for a way to get your heart pumping without straining your knees, you should try doing leg raises. To perform leg raises, hang from a pull-up bar or loop bands under your feet. You can use an exercise ball to support your back, but be sure to keep it in front of you so you don’t accidentally kick it. Slowly raise your legs straight out in front of you until they are parallel with the floor. Then bring them back down and repeat ten times.
Please remember to speak to your doctor before you start on any new cardio exercise routines. Always start small and take your time to listen to your body cues. Which low impact cardio exercise are you interested to try? Let us know which cardio exercise works best for you!