Regular stretching offers a vast number of health benefits to older adults. Tight and stiff muscles can lead to poor posture. For instance, tight muscles in your...
The trends and fads of the wellness and fitness industry keep changing. However, one thing that will always remain a staple will be the importance of low-impact exercises. Low-impact exercises make it possible to stay active, improve mobility, and build strength without putting unnecessary stress on the joints. Thus, low-impact exercises among the most highly recommended physical activity options for aging adults.
If you are looking for ways to stay safe and healthy, here are ten of the best low-impact exercises for you:
1. Lateral Shuffle
Work on many muscle groups at the same time with the lateral shuffle. It will help you improve your coordination and balance. To do so:
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, bend slightly forward at the hips, knees slightly bent, and arms in front of you
- Shift your weight to your left, lift your left foot, and push from your right foot so your body can move towards the left
- Make sure the movement is quick and the form is correct
- Bring back feet together and repeat the same movement with the other foot
Lateral shuffle will help you increase your balance and coordination.
2. Low-Impact Jumping Jacks
You can use this exercise as a warm-up before your routine. It is a low-impact cardio activity that will help you move your muscles and steadily increase your heart rate. Here's how:
- Stand with your arms down by your side
- Step your left foot out while bringing your arms above the head (make sure your weight stays on your left foot)
- Return to the standing position
- Do the same movement with your right foot and continue switching feet
Low-impact jumping jacks don't require you to jump. However, this move will still get your heart rate up.
3. Glute Bridge
If you suffer from back pain, this is one of the best low-impact exercises. It will help you strengthen your back and stay pain-free throughout the day. To perform this exercise:
- Lie on your back with hands on the side, feet flat on the ground, and knees bent
- Squeeze your abs and glutes and lift your hips a few inches off the floor
- Squeeze and pause your glutes when off the floor for a few seconds
- Lower your hips and return to your starting positing
To get the best results, you should start with 20 reps of this exercise. As you build strength, you can increase your reps.
4. Air Swimming
Are you looking to improve your posture? If so, air swimming is one of the best low-impact exercises. Here is what you need to do:
- Lie on your stomach
- Extend your arms above your head
- Lift your arms, legs, and chest off the floor
- Squeeze your glutes
- Repeat, lifting and lowering your arms and legs from the floor
The sets and reps you want to perform depend on your personal preference, and you can mix it up according to your ability and needs.
5. Kick Through
Performing this exercise every day will help you improve your control, agility and increase your entire body's strength. Here's how:
- Keep your hands and toes on the floor with knees bent off the floor
- Rotate your body to one side and extend your right leg while lifting your left arm off the floor
- Return to the middle position and repeat on the other side
The kick-through movement should be done smoothly and slowly. Once you get the hang of it, you can increase reps.
Safely channel your inner speed skater with this low-impact exercise. It is one of the best exercises for older adults that want to get their hearts pumping. Here is what you need to do:
- Stand in a curtsy lunge position
- While pushing off the right leg, start to stand and bring the opposite arm forward.
- Repeat with the opposite leg
- Keep doing this movement at the quickest speed you can do so safely and comfortably
Remember to stay planted on the ground and keep from jumping. You can also do this movement slowly to understand it first. Once you are comfortable with the exercise, you can increase your speed.
7. Plank with Knee to Side
If you want to warm up your hip and core area, this exercise is perfect. To do so:
- Start in a plank position
- Flex your core and lift your knee to the side
- Repeat on the other side
You can do ten reps when starting because planks tend to be difficult for many people. You can increase the reps after getting used to the movement.
8. Squat To Jab
Make the most of one of the best low-impact exercises with a variation. It will help you work on your arms and legs at the same time. To get started:
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and keep your arms to your sides
- Bend your knees and bend at the hip to lower yourself into the squat position
- Return to a standing position and extend your arm to throw a punch
- Squat again and repeat with the other arm when you are back up
In a nutshell, all you have to do is squat and punch.
9. Side Lunge
Work on your spine and your legs with the side lunge. It will help you increase your mobility and strengthen your legs. Here is what you need to do:
- Stand with legs shoulder-width apart
- Extend your arms to both sides
- Take a step towards the side and rotate your upper body while keeping your hand down to touch the opposite ankle
- Repeat on the other side
10. The Warrior II
The Warrior II is one of the best low-impact exercises that will help you strengthen your back, shoulders, and glutes. Here is what you need to do:
- Stand in a wide stance
- Raise your arms to form a "T"
- Turn your right foot outward so it is perpendicular to your left foot
- Bend your right knee slowly
- Raise your body to return to the wide-stanced standing position
- Repeat with your left
These are ten of the best low-impact exercises for older adults. It will help you strengthen all areas of your body while increasing your flexibility and mobility. You will reap the benefits of these exercises for years to come.