8 Low-Impact Summer Activities for Seniors

Being physically active is important regardless of your age. Physical activity keeps you physically healthy, emotionally sound, and mentally alert. Regular physical activity has been linked to a reduction in chronic illness and a fuller life as one gets older.

Staying physically active can present a challenge for older individuals. Physical limitations may prevent them from engaging in high impact sports or activities. The summer heat presents a greater risk of heatstroke and dehydration for seniors. Low impact activities provide a stellar option for seniors who want to get at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise throughout their day.

Low impact exercises and activities can help minimize muscle and joint tension. They can reduce blood pressure levels. Low impact exercise can improve cholesterol levels, geriatric cardiac health, and increase a senior’s energy level during the day. The following are 8 amazing low-impact exercise activities for seniors.


1. Walk

Walking provides a twofold benefit for seniors. On the one hand, it is a source of low impact physical activity. On the other hand, walking is a great way to socialize with others. Going on a walk with a friend, a neighbor, or a family member allow seniors to have much needed conversation and interaction with others. The nice thing about going on a walk is that you don’t need equipment. Simply put on your exercise clothing, put on your shoes, and go for a stroll for around 30 minutes. Another great thing about walking is that you can do it almost anywhere and at a time that’s convenient for you. It is recommended that seniors avoid walking during the middle of the day when the heat is the most intense to avoid sunstroke.


2. Swim

Swimming is a sport that people can engage in their entire life. Swimming is the best low impact activity out there for maintaining overall physical health. Swimming is cardio, but it also strengthens muscles without affecting joints. A person can swim indoors at the local gym, or they can swim outdoors at a lake or in the ocean. Swimming is an excellent way to get away from the heat of the summer and to just cool off. Seniors who go swimming at least twice a week see positive results. If you are looking to add a bit more intensity to your low-impact swimming workout, think about joining a water aerobics class.


3. Pickle Ball

Pickle ball is a lot like tennis but lower impact. You have all the fun from volleying a ball back and forth over the net without the stress on your joints. Like walking, pickle ball is a group activity. It’s not something that you do on your own. So you have the benefits of getting out there and engaging in physical activity while at the same time socializing with friends. Many communities offer a summer pickle ball league. This increases the circle of friends you can play with, and it allows seniors to have a touch of healthy competition.


4. Garden

Some people do not think of gardening as exercise. But that’s because those people have never worked in a garden. Moving plants from one place to another, pulling out weeds, digging in the earth, and watering the grass provide opportunities for low impact activity. In addition to being a good source of exercise, gardening has a calming effect and can provide seniors with a positive way to use their time by producing something that will benefit them and those around them.


5. Dance

The best part about dance is it’s whatever you want it to be. A person can dance as hard or as soft as they want. Dancing is a great way to get the body moving. It requires a person to use all of the muscles in their body. Dancing is a great way for seniors to get out and meet other people who share their love of dancing. Dancing to music that one grew up with or dancing to newer tunes are a great way to spend a few hours with friends.


6. Bike

Cycling is on amazing low-impact activity seniors can engage in. It doesn’t matter if you are riding a $7,000 professional bike or using a bike you picked up at a local garage sale. Cycling can give you as gentle or as hard of a workout as you want, all the while not putting stress on your body.

One benefit of cycling is that it allows you to cover a lot more ground than you could simply walking or running, and you don’t have to worry about damaging your cartilage or your ligaments. Another benefit is the social aspect of biking. Many cities have group rides that allow a number of people to bike together through the city.

There are competitive bike races for people of all ages and all proficiency levels. You can join a race of just a couple of miles or a marathon of 100 miles or more. The nice thing is that many of these races are connected to charity. Shey allow seniors to get the exercise they need while at the same time socialize with others and give back to the community they love.


7. Rowing

Rowing is one of the first Olympic sports. Rowing is one of the only low impact sports that can work all of the major muscle groups of your body. It can allow seniors to strengthen their abs, their lower back, and their legs. Because of this, rowing burns more calories than cycling or running for the same amount of time.

Many gyms have rowing machines, and these are very beneficial. But the real fun comes from rowing out on the water. Lightweight kayaks can allow seniors to explore local lakes and at the same time get a full body workout. Seniors can enjoy the beauty of nature while engaging in a healthful activity that does not put stress on their knees, legs, and back.


8. Pilates

Pilates is an excellent option for seniors looking for a low impact way to improve their posture, their muscle tone, and their flexibility. Pilates has been shown to improve the function of the respiratory system and strengthen joints. Pilates helps seniors increase their balance, relieve tension, and improve their mood by keeping depression and depressive thoughts away.

Since the movements of Pilates are slowed and controlled, they give seniors better coordination and body control. Pilates is a great tool for seniors who are not ready for a cardio class or strength workouts. It allows them to stay in shape and benefit from daily exercise.

Seniors who stay active notice an improvement in their well-being. They are able to control their body weight, cholesterol levels, and minimize their risk of things like heart attacks and stroke. Keeping your body strong and limber as you age helps you maintain your independence and allows you to keep engaging in the activities you’ve enjoyed throughout your entire life.

Even with doing low-impact physical activity, it’s good to start slowly. With time, endurance, balance, strength, and flexibility will improve. In most cases, good fitness can be achieved with as little as 30 minutes of low impact activity every single day.

Categories: Health and Wellness and Resource Center.

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