The 7 Best Low-Impact Workouts For Older Adults

walking is one of the best low impact workouts for older people

As a person gets older, their body is unable to rebound from high impact workouts compared to their younger years.

On the other hand, high-impact workouts could be counterproductive and lead to many other conditions such as osteoporosis, arthritis, and other age-related illnesses.

In fact, these types of workouts will increase one’s risk of pain and injury once he starts to age.

That is where low-impact workouts come in handy. High-impact workouts will let your feet forcefully hit the ground such as when running or using jumping rope, but low-impact workouts won’t let this happen since one foot will always remain on the ground during the activity.

For example, walking and biking are low-impact workouts where one foot will remain on the ground at any given time. Hence, it won’t cause injury and pain to the body like when performing high-impact workouts.

This article provides information on 7 of the best low-impact workouts for older adults.

Staying active is important even when you grow older. In fact, it will help keep you feeling and looking your best at all times.

an older couple walking on a path

On the other hand, an active lifestyle is especially important for a senior since it will help prevent diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer over time.

It will also reduce the pain associated with arthritis and osteoporosis. Exercises will improve the flexibility, balance, strength, and endurance of an older adult. That way an older adult should stay healthier for a much longer time.

The National Institute of Aging advises an older adult to stay healthy while aging by doing at least 30 minutes of low-impact exercises per day. You should try to perform 30-minutes of workouts per day and 3-4 times a week.

The workouts should make you breathe harder and build your endurance or staying power over time. You don’t have to be active for 30 minutes at a stretch. In fact, 10 minutes at a time is fine for an older adult.

Make sure that you keep working your muscles even when you age. That way you can easily get up from the chair by yourself and lift your grandchildren or walk through the park without any problem.

Also, it will help to prevent falls that will cause problems such as broken hips. You are less likely to fall even when you become older when your muscles are stronger. It is important that you do things that will improve your balance.

On the other hand, stretching is important to improve your flexibility over time. You can easily bend down to tie your shoelaces when you have enough flexibility. your age doesn’t affect exercising on a regular basis. But the type of workout you perform may have an effect on your physical condition.

That is why you should consult a qualified healthcare provider before you begin your workout regimen. He or she is the best person to recommend the right type of low-impact workouts that suit your present physical condition and medical history.

With that in mind, here are seven of the best low-impact workouts for older adults.

1. Swimming

people swimming in a lap pool for exercise

Many older adults are suffering from arthritis or osteoporosis which make certain types of exercises painful and difficult for them.

Swimming is one of the best low-impact workouts for people who have joint pains. The buoyancy of the water will take most of the stress off your joints and allow you to move freely without any discomfort.

The cool temperature and gentle pressure exerted by water on your body will help reduce joint swelling. On the other hand, if you have been running and cannot do it now due to joint pain, you can switch to deep water running.

You will wear a floatation belt for buoyancy when performing this type of workout. You may use a running gait that is knee high in water so that your feet won’t touch the bottom.

In fact, the latest research supports deep water running for older adults. It will reduce your blood pressure and improve the functional fitness over time.

2. TRX

Total body resistance workouts are some of the best low-impact workouts for older adults. They are ideal for older adults at risk of falling because of balance problems.

Since the workouts are performed using an equipment, the bands will support your body and offer proprioceptive feedback. In fact, TRX workouts (learn more) are considered some of the best to improve the functional training of seniors.

It will help improve age-related mobility, balance and strength decline.

3. Recumbent Stationary Bike

a man rides a recumbebent bike

A recumbent bike is ideal for an older adult who suffers from low back issues. It will let you bike in a position that is less stressful for your back.

In fact, this type of bike is most comfortable for older citizens. It doesn’t place much pressure on the sacrum of such an adult.

On the other hand, the stability of this type of bike is ideal for older adults who have balance issues.

There are many options to chose from when it comes to finding a decent recumbent – the Schwinn 470 is one of our top-rated picks – check out our review here.

4. Indoor Cycling

Biking is something that you should continue for the rest of your life whether you do it indoors or prefer hitting the trails.

It is a type of low-impact workout that is quite challenging to an older adult. In case you feel less confident about riding outdoors, indoor cycling is the best year-round option for you.

There are different types of workouts to choose from when you opt for indoor cycling.

5. Elliptical Machine

bowflex bxe216 elliptical

This is another great low-impact workout for an older adult. It minimizes the stress of the joints since it will use a gliding leg motion.

On the other hand, the handlebars will help work the upper body at the same time. You will experience minimal joint pressure when using this machine.

The workout is ideal for older adults with arthritis or similar conditions. The four-point balance and stable design make the machine quite secure for older adults – even if they don’t have great balance and coordination.

You can adjust the resistance of the machine to make the exercises more challenging and get a full-body workout in the process.

When it comes to ellipticals, we’re big fans of what Bowflex is making right now, but there are tons of options to choose from, and if you’re a member at a gym, they’re pretty much guaranteed to have some high-quality machines for you to use.

6. Walking

This is considered the perfect low-impact workout for older adults. If you want to stay fit while aging, you should definitely opt for this type of exercise.

You can do it almost anywhere you choose to. It keeps your joints functioning properly while building endurance over time. The latest studies show that just 20 minutes of walking a day can add 3 to 7 years to your life.

On the other hand, the exercise will make your old years more vital. It will slow down the aging process and rebuild old DNA.

7. Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP)

my stand up paddle board near the lake

This exercise has become popular in the past decade. In fact, older adults love this type of workout because it is low-impact. It is relatively easy to master this type of workout and is a total-body sport. SUP is great for those who suffer from joint pain.

The gentle and rhythmic movements won’t overstress your muscles and joints. The sport will provide cardio and strength improvements over time.

Hence, SUP is the perfect workout for those who are looking to improve their fitness levels without risking joint injuries.

Balance and coordination are very important for this sport. You will strengthen all the muscle groups and improve the posture as a result of taking part in this sport.

You should choose a lightweight board to easily move to and from the water.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to find some low-impact workouts, this list is a good place to start. Find the best option that fits your fitness needs and workout style, and get moving!