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Low Intensity Exercise

Swimming

Maintain Your Health

Exercise is one of the best ways to maintain your health, manage your weight, and prevent disease. Everyone should exercise. However, not everyone should exercise in the same way. Depending on your fitness level, medical conditions, and age you may need to adjust your fitness routine. The right workout should help you stay healthy, build muscle, and lose weight without damaging your body. Although everybody is unique, if you’re over 60 or have health complications like diabetes, heart disease, or arthritis, you should reduce the intensity of your exercise and do low intensity and low impact exercises.

Low Intensity Workouts

As you age you may notice that your strength, mobility, and overall fitness are on the decline. You may find that you have less energy than before, gain weight more easily, or that it’s harder to focus. This is natural and bound to happen, but staying active is one of the best ways to combat these changes.  Although low intensity exercises burn calories at a lower rate than higher intensity workouts, they can be an effective tool that will help you maintain your fitness and independence. Low intensity exercises are also gentler than high intensity workouts, so they won’t strain your body or negatively impact your joint and bone health.

Lose Weight With Low Intensity Exercises

According to health care professionals, your 60’s are among the most important years to stay active. Your body changes a lot during this time and staying fit is the best way to keep up. Likewise, if you have chronic health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, or arthritis, regular exercise is very important. Working out can drastically reduce the symptoms of disease and prevent other health complications from developing. So, if you are looking to maintain your health or stay fit despite health conditions, low intensity exercises are a great place to start. They are a good way to maintain your health, gain independence, and reach your weight loss goals without putting too much stress on your body. Popular low intensity exercises include body weight and strength exercises, walking, hiking, swimming, water aerobics, gardening or doing other housework, rowing, playing an instrument, and yoga or Pilates.

1. Body Weight / Strength Exercises

When it comes to staying fit, you don’t need a lot of equipment or a gym. Body weight exercises are any move where you’re using your own body weight as resistance. This includes push-ups, sit ups, wall sits, planks, lunges, tricep dips, and pull ups. Not only are these exercises convenient, but almost anyone can do them. Body weight exercises help build muscle mass, improve bone density, and are a great stress reliever as well. As with any exercise, start slow and make sure you’re doing the movements correctly to avoid injury and get the full benefits of the work out.

2. Walking / Hiking

Taking a hike can be more powerful than you think. Hiking is one of the most simple yet effective exercises out there.  You don’t need any equipment and it is a simple way to strengthen your legs and boost your mood. This powerful workout is also great for your cardiovascular health and can help you manage your weight. To keep things interesting try different trails, add weights, or bring a walking partner. Hiking can easily become a part of your fitness routine and help improve both your mental and physical health.

3. Swimming / Water Aerobics

As you age your body’s metabolic system slows down and so does your organ function. However, aerobic exercises like swimming are great ways to slow the effects of this change. Swimming is a low impact workout that almost anyone can do. It’s great for people with injuries, arthritis, back problems, asthma or other conditions that make high impact exercise difficult. The best part is that swimming strengthens muscles in your entire body with almost no impact on your joints. For a different experience try taking a class or inviting a friend. This way you can get fit, learn something new, and stay social at the same time.

4. Gardening or Other Housework

Although it may not seem like it, a day of walking the dog, gardening, dusting, and mowing the lawn can become a workout. While it may not be the same as a traditional workout, doing simple household chores can still contribute to your weight loss goal and keep you physically fit. For most housework, you are on your feet moving around, squatting down, bending over, using equipment, and generally active for the duration of the task. So, if the gym isn’t for you, try gardening or playing with your dog for a few extra minutes. These small changes will make a difference in the long run.

5. Rowing Machine

Like swimming, the rowing machine is a full body aerobic exercise that puts minimal strain on your joints and back. This exercise is great for people with arthritis or back pain, as there is no hard impact on your body. If you’d like to improve your strength and incorporate resistance training without damaging your joints, give rowing a try.

6. Playing an instrument

Playing an instrument can be great for your mental health.  It’s emotionally fulfilling, requires discipline, and can improve your focus. However, it can also be considered a form of low-intensity exercise. Playing an instrument like guitar, saxophone, or the trumpet involves using your arms, hands, and fingers. Breath-activated instruments like the harmonica require breath control which strengthens your lungs. Also, drummers engage their entire body as they play drums. Even singing can become a workout, as it requires breath control and engages your core muscles and diaphragm. No matter the instrument, if you are looking for a mentally and physically engaging exercise try singing or playing a song.

7. Yoga / Stretching

Yoga can be a relaxing low impact and low intensity work out. Overall, yoga is an exercise that helps with balance, mobility, and flexibility, and may help reduce your risk of injury as you age. Some slower forms of Yoga, like Hatha, focus on static poses, mindfulness exercises, and increasing flexibility instead of movements. As a result, slower practices may be beneficial if you have arthritis, body pain, or want to maintain your joint health. Having a regular yoga routine can also be good for your mental health and may improve your memory and focus.

– 5 Benefits of Weight Training

https://www.active.com/fitness/articles/5-benefits-of-weight-training

 

– What Does Moderate Exercise Mean, Anyway?

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/what-does-moderate-exercise-mean-anyway/

 

– Experts Agree: Yoga Can Help You Lose Weight, Especially If You Do This Type of Practice

https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Can-Yoga-Help-Weight-Loss-46129002

 

– What Are the Top 12 Benefits of Swimming?

https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-swimming

 

– How Hiking Is Good for Body and Mind

https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/hiking-body-mind

 

– The Best Workout for Every Age

https://www.rd.com/health/fitness/best-workout-every-age/

 

– Examples of Physical Activities by Intensity

https://www.k-state.edu/paccats/Contents/PA/PDF/PA%20by%20Intensity.pdf

 

– Keeping fit: how to do the right exercise for your age

https://theconversation.com/keeping-fit-how-to-do-the-right-exercise-for-your-age-108851

 

– MYTH: It’s Hard to Lose Weight as You Age

https://www.jillianmichaels.com/blog/weight-loss/myth-its-hard-lose-weight-you-age

 

– 17 Surprising Health Benefits of Playing an Instrument

https://takelessons.com/blog/health-benefits-of-playing-an-instrument-z15

 

– Calories Burned During Exercise

http://www.nutristrategy.com/activitylist4.htm