Lifestyle

6 Low-Impact Exercises To Keep Strong After 50

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Staying active is important at any age.

Exercise is not only good for helping people lose weight, it can also lower the risk of some diseases, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, and promote longevity.

While you may not be able to do the same strenuous exercises as you did when you were younger, people over 50 can still maintain their health with simple exercises.

These workouts will help you build strength, improve your balance, and give you some cardio, without jeopardizing your bones, joints, and muscles.

Here are five low-impact exercises that you should start incorporating into your exercise routine today.

Also, don't forget to have fun!

1. Swimming

There's nothing more relaxing than moving around in water.

There's a sense of freedom that comes with it that calms you down, and sends a bunch of feel good hormones coursing through your body.

Swimming is not only good for your mental heath, but also your physical.

It's a simple activity that gives you cardio, and exercises all your major muscle groups, while being easy on your joints.

A long-term study at Indiana University Bloomington’s Counsilman Center for the Science of Swimming found that swimming can postpone the aging process.

“The health and well-being benefits start with a minimal amount of swimming,” Councilman Center Director Joel Stager said in the university’s newsletter. “If you want the fitness effect, you’ll need to look at getting your heart rate up and boosting the intensity.”

2. Speed Walking

Time and time again we hear about how great walking is, but did you know that you'd reap more of its health benefits if you do it right.

Adding a little more power to your strides will help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

According to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, walking fast, where you feel slightly out of breath, will improve your chance of living longer by 24%.

The best thing about walking is that it's free, so you can set the hours you want to go out and get some quality fresh air and exercise.

3. Dancing

Everyone loves to dance, all you've got to do is find the style of dance you're most interested in.

Many studies have found that dancing is the best form of exercise for people in their golden years.

Not only is it a great mood booster, because it's a way to form strong social connections, dancing has also been found to slow down cognitive decline.

All those moves that you memorize are also great to increase flexibility, stability, and promote heart health.

4. Tai Chi

Tai chi, which has been described as "meditation in motion," is an internal Chinese martial art that is believed to prevent many health problems.

In an article by Harvard Medical School, this slow-motion exercise helps with circulation and relaxes muscles.

The idea is that tai chi helps to encourage the proper flow of energy throughout your body and help keep your mind and body in harmony.

"A growing body of carefully conducted research is building a compelling case for tai chi as an adjunct to standard medical treatment for the prevention and rehabilitation of many conditions commonly associated with age," Peter M. Wayne, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the Tai Chi and Mind-Body Research Program said.

5. Bodyweight Exercises

In the comfort of your home, you can incorporate some simple strength training exercises that will increase your muscle mass, strengthen bones, manage any chronic conditions you may have, and reduce body fat.

At least two times a week, allocate at least 10 to 20 minutes for bodyweight exercises.

Don't push yourself too hard and only use weights that you are comfortable with.

Talk to your doctor or a fitness trainer about particular exercises that you can incorporate into your exercise routine.

6. Yoga

There are many levels to yoga, but sticking to the beginner level will suffice.

There are many simple poses and stretches that will promote longevity and reduce your chances of developing osteoporosis, arthritis, and other chronic illnesses.

If you have no idea where to start, check out some YouTube videos for guidance, or go to a yoga studio for expert advice.

And always remember that yoga poses should feel comfortable and balanced! You don't want to put too much pressure on your joints.

Yoga teachers will always suggest alternative ways to complete the poses without putting a toll on your body.

[H/T: Reader's Digest]

How many hours of exercise do you get per week?