Stay Active with Low-Impact Workouts

The Grove staff
Thursday, May 16, 2019

Staying active has countless benefits. Exercise can help improve or maintain health and keep you independent longer. It can help increase bone density, maintain strength, prevent falls, and improve mood. 

The American Council on Exercise recommends that people over age 50 engage in cardiovascular, strength, flexibility, and balance activities most days of the week. 

There is no best workout for everyone. If you have a routine that works for you and you enjoy, keep doing that. If you’re finding yourself with more time to start a routine, here are some low-impact suggestions for getting started.

  • Try a fitness band workout. Improve posture and increase muscle strength and endurance with a low-cost, light-weight piece of equipment. Check out the video for some simple moves you could do at the gym, at home, or anywhere.
  • Balance declines with age, so there’s no better time than now to work on balance, flexibility, and strength. Improve balance with movements such as walking heel-to-toe as if on a balance beam. A more advanced balance challenge is standing on one foot and catching a ball that a partner gently tosses your way. Another is to repeatedly stand up from a chair without using your arms for help. For extra challenge, try standing up on just one foot.
  • Yoga is great for flexibility, balance, and strength at any age. Try different variations that work for where your body is today.
  • Use your Silver&Fit benefit to join a gym or other fitness program. Many locations also offer group classes. If you prefer to work out at home, Silver&Fit offers home fitness kits.
  • Walking is a classic exercise for a reason. It reduces the risk of obesity, heart disease, and stroke. A Fitbit or other activity tracker could help provide encouragement to gradually take more steps each day. For more challenge, try adding intervals of speed-walking or jogging. Speed up your pace for 30 to 60 seconds, then bring it back to an easy pace for 90 to 120 seconds and repeat. Always warm up at your normal pace for at least 5 minutes before starting intervals.
  • Strength training helps maintain muscle mass and bone health. Schedule some time with a trainer at the gym or take a class to learn proper form, if you’re unsure. Otherwise, lifting some hand weights—or household items like water bottles—can preserve muscle. Make sure to mix in upper and lower body movements.
  • Moving more is a key to staying healthy.

“Whether it’s five minutes, ten minutes, twenty minutes, we need to move for our health and to maintain function,” said Penny Bailey, Senior Manager of Education and Training at American Specialty Health, which offers Silver&Fit. 

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