There are a plethora of sports activities that have numerous health benefits for the elderly and have a low impact on the body. Such low-impact sports improve strength, balance, and flexibility, and enhance one’s physical condition in general. With that being said, let us take a look at 7 fun low-impact sports for your elderly loved one.
Brisk walking is a great form of exercise for seniors. Take a stroll around the local neighborhood with a friend or a pet and make it into a daily routine. Studies have shown that seniors who walk regularly are less likely to develop disabilities. Seniors can opt for nordic walking by using special walking poles which help with a low-impact body workout.
Low-impact water aerobics include swimming and water polo. Motioning through the water stretches and strengthens the predominant muscle groups in the arms, backs, shoulders, and legs. Trying different swimming strokes engages different muscle groups. This enhances one’s stamina, flexibility, and endurance.
Yoga reinvigorates the mind and soul. It alleviates anxiety, reducing stress levels. In addition, it tones one’s body with the variety of positions one has to be in. It strengthens bones and joints, improves balance and stamina, and reduces back pain. Some poses for seniors include tree pose, mountain pose, downward-facing dog, bird dog, and savasana. Chair yoga, also known as desktop yoga poses, is particularly suited for seniors as such asanas can be done on chairs. It relaxes the back and neck muscles, reduces tension and fatigue, and boosts coordinated body movements and muscle endurance.
Pilates works by boosting movement patterns and correcting muscular imbalances. It improves bone density, posture, balance, relieves stress, boosts immunity, enhances mobility, and reduces injury. Chair Pilates is helpful for seniors as the chair serves as a prop to support one’s balance. The chair provides feedback to find the ideal posture and strengthens the lower body. There are also specialized pilates programs to deal with osteoporosis in seniors. Pilates boosts bone density by slowing down the bone deterioration process while strengthening the spine, core, and legs in terms of the routines performed.
Tai Chi is a gentle and slow exercise that offers benefits such as endurance training, muscle strengthening, and flexibility. According to research, it reduces the risk of falls among seniors, as it improves balance and stability. Tai Chi movements share a common foundation with the styles of Chen, Yang, Wu, and Sun. All in all, there are over 100 fluid movements, which is why Tai Chi is also known as moving meditation.
Golf is a low-impact sport that involves coordination and planning. Hence, it is good for the mind and gives you the necessary cardio exercise as you walk from one location to another. If not, you can travel using motorized golf carts while enjoying the fresh breeze. You can also socialize with your friends and unleash your competitive nature.
Archery helps your flexibility and upper body strength significantly. It is also imperative for your cognitive abilities as it requires precision and excellent hand-eye coordination.