Fact or Fiction: Low-impact Exercises for Seniors

Staff

When you're starting a new workout routine, keep in mind the old motto, "No pain, no gain."

Pain is your body's way of telling you that something is wrong. If you experience pain, back off of the exercise, and talk to your doctor if it persists. A better motto would be, "If it hurts, don't do it!"

Walking is one of the best low-impact cardiovascular exercises for seniors.

Walking is easy on your body, and it's an exercise that you can do anywhere at any age. Just make sure you pick up a good, supportive pair of walking shoes before you get started.

Seniors should avoid weight training since it can be too intense for their bones and joints.

Strength training can help relieve lower back pain and arthritis pain, and it helps improve bone density. If you're planning to start weight training as a senior, it's important to work with a trainer or doctor who can help you design a workout that's safe for you.

If you didn't exercise during middle age, it's too late to start as a senior.

It's never too late to start an exercise routine! If you haven't exercised in a while, make sure you talk to your doctor about what exercises are safe. You can also look into hiring a personal trainer to help get you started.

Strength training can improve blood pressure.

A 1987 study found that strength training can have a powerful impact on your blood pressure, and a later study showed that combining strength training with cardiovascular exercise can benefit blood pressure for seniors even more. A personal trainer can help you come up with a low-impact strength-training routine that's right for you.

Most seniors aren't flexible enough to practice yoga.

The stretching, strengthening and balance exercises in a yoga class can be extremely beneficial for seniors. In fact, many yoga studios offer classes specifically for seniors.

Running is a great low-impact way to improve your cardiovascular and muscle strength.

While some seniors can maintain a running routine, running can be very hard on your body and is not considered a low-impact workout. If you're just getting back into exercising, talk to your doctor to see if running is too high-impact for you.

You must know how to swim to participate in water aerobics.

Since instructors generally teach water aerobics classes in the shallow end of the pool, you don't need to know how to swim to participate. You'll only be standing in waist- to chest-deep water.

Cycling is a high-impact exercise that's not recommended for seniors.

Because your body absorbs minimal shock from pedaling, cycling on a stationary bike or outdoors is very easy on the joints. A recumbent bike is even easier on the back, neck and shoulders.

Golf can be a great workout for your entire body.

Golf is an excellent low-impact sport, and between walking around the course and swinging the club, seniors can get in an entire body workout while socializing and enjoying the outdoors.

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About This Quiz

Exercise can be very beneficial at any age, and seniors are no exception. A good low-impact exercise routine improves balance and prevents injury while increasing strength and endurance. Think you're savvy when it comes to your low-impact exercise routine? Work out your know-how with our quiz!

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