Low Impact Can Be Highly Effective
couple of weeks ago as I sat in a doctor’s
with your doctor or a trainer to determine what
waiting room for a routine checkup, I found
program you should follow.)
myself mesmerized by a television show that
featured “extreme low impact exercises” for seniors. As I watched, I began thinking of my own 94-yearold mother, who doesn’t go to bed at night until she has done her leg lifts, arm circles, ankle rotations, and back stretches. Maybe one reason my mom is a hale
DO YOGA – Yoga is fabulous exercise that will help increase flexibility and improve circulation, not to mention aid in relaxation. STRETCH – Take it slow, stretching every joint and muscle. This is not only good for your flexibility, but it
and healthy 94 is because she has always – always –
will help you avoid injuries.
been one to exercise.
WORK OUT WITH WATER AEROBICS – Like swim-
The TV show’s host was talking about the benefits
ming, water aerobics are easy on your body. Most
of regular exercise, which we all know: lower blood
classes provide great social interaction, too!
pressure, better balance and flexibility, reduced stress,
WORK IN THE GARDEN – Plant, weed, water, and
stronger muscles, better cardiovascular health. She
harvest … all these involve bending, lifting, pushing,
listed nine low impact movements/exercises that ev-
and pulling. And you’ll reap the benefits in more ways
eryone can do:
RIDE A BIKE – Use a stationary bike or an outdoor
SEATED MOVEMENT – If you need to stay in a chair
bike, whichever works best for you (and the weather).
to exercise, work on joint flexibility by working your
Your heart and joints will appreciate it!
wrists, ankles, knees, legs, hips, shoulders, neck, and
WALK – Even if it’s just up and down the hallway,
walking is by far the most popular and least expensive
low impact workout for seniors.
a long and healthy life. As always, if you are considering
SWIM – Whether you swim laps, do water aerobics,
starting or increasing your exercise program, even if it’s
or just walk in the pool with the water as resistance, you can go for hours without injury while getting a
going to be an “extreme low impact” program, consult with your physician first.
great (and enjoyable) workout. LIFT WEIGHTS – You may think that weight lifting is just for the younger set, but even using one-
Reprinted with permission from Global Move Media and Athens
pound hand weights while you walk will help fight
bone density loss and increase your strength. (Talk