It's important for senior citizens to exercise. You don't want to sit around in a chair or on the couch all day. This can lead to serious heart problems, as well as depression. Exercise has been shown to have a profound impact on mental health as well as physical health.
For many seniors, high impact exercises such as jogging, running, or weight lifting can be too strenuous. In many cases it might even be detrimental to their health. The best alternative is to participate in a low impact exercise that will be gentle on the body. Here are some of the best options.
Walking is an excellent exercise and it doesn't even require a gym membership. Unlike running and jogging, walking doesn't put too much stress on your knees. Power walking requires you to walk at a very quick pace, almost a jog. This elevates your heart rate. You can get an excellent cardio workout.
If you live near a big park with a soft jogging track, then you should try it out. The soft track will add cushion and make the exercise even more low impact.
Swimming and Swim Aerobics
Swimming is the ultimate low impact exercise. A lap pool is a great way to get aerobic exercise without any impact at all.
If you're not someone who likes to swim laps, then you might consider taking a swim-aerobics class. These are offered at many health clubs and pools. In a swim aerobics class the focus is on doing underwater exercises, often with weights. There are even classes that include underwater running. You will not have to deal with the impact that comes from regular running. This is why swim aerobics is a popular way to treat people who are recovering from orthopedic procedures.
Thai Chi is an ancient martial arts form that is practiced by people all over the world, particularly in Asia. If there is a Chinatown in your town, then you might have seen groups of people practicing Thai Chi in the morning in a local park.
Thai Chi consists of slow, fluid movements. It is not an exercise that will provide much cardiovascular benefit, but it is excellent for maintaining flexibility and mobility. There is also evidence that it is beneficial in dealing with cancer, Parkinson's, and other diseases.
Pilates is an exercise that in some respects is similar to yoga, but in other ways is very different. At first glance they might look the same. They both involve exercises done on the floor, on a mat. However, Pilates involves more calisthenic type exercises. The focus is on strengthening and developing your core muscles. While the exercises are often performed solo, on a mat, other times a device called a reformer is used. This is a bench that has pulleys and weights. It is used to provide added resistance. You can find both private pilates programs and public ones offered by local rec centers.
In both cases, there is no impact. This was one of the key concepts behind the development of the exercise. The originator, Joseph Pilates, designed the exercise to help wounded soldiers who were confined to their bed. However, the exercise caught on with other people and is now a popular method of low impact exercise.
I was badly injured a year ago, and it took a long time to get back to my normal level of ability. One of the things that helped more than anything was the time that I spent in physical therapy. I didn’t always love going to physical therapy – in fact, sometimes, I really didn’t enjoy it at all. But ultimately, the therapists and other patients I worked with helped inspire me to get better, and the exercises facilitated my healing process. I started this blog to talk about all of the things I learned about physical therapy and healing during my recovery time. I hope my blog reaches other accident victims. I want to offer encouragement, hope, and information for people who are in the same boat that I was in.