Low Impact Outdoor Activities For Seniors

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Senior couple out walking the beach at dusk

No matter where one is in life, exercise is a vital part of staying healthy, both mentally and physically. This is no exception for those in their seniors years. Though the types of exercises that should be completed on a daily basis are different from those practiced at a younger age, they are equally as important.

These types of exercises are typically known and referred to as low impact activities. Luckily, there are several different types of low impact activities to choose from, making it so that exercise doesn’t have to be just another thing on your ‘do to’ list but rather something that interests you and is also fun. Because of the wide range of activities available, a person can choose to complete some inside or outside. For the purpose of this article however, we’re going to focus on outdoor activities that allow you to not only care for your health but also push you to go outside and enjoy the fresh air.

The Difference Between Low Impact and High Impact

When choosing different activities to partake in and add into your training, it’s important to know the difference between high impact and low impact. High impact activities include basketball, running, lifting weights, boxing, football, soccer and other similar sports. These activities, though both fun and exciting, can actually do more harm than good to a senior’s body. This is where low impact activities come in. These activities are more in line with a body that is aging and help to strengthen instead of causing stress and wear. They are also easier to complete yet still give you that great after exercise feeling.

Why Are Low Impact Activities Important?

For seniors, low impact activities are very important for a variety of reasons. These types of exercises not only help one to lose or keep off extra weight, but also help to ease tense muscles and joints, lower blood pressure, lower your cholesterol levels and improve general heart health. In addition, low impact aerobic activity helps to increase daily energy, allowing a senior to be more active in other parts of their lives.

Recommended Low Impact Outdoor Activities For Seniors

Below you’ll find a list of great low impact outdoor activities to choose from that can be completed at home or at your nearby health club. The important thing to remember is to start off slowly with a few minutes of activity each day. Over time, activity levels can be increased to 30 minutes a day, which is ideal for any age.

Brisk Walking– A very important exercise for all ages, brisk walking allows you to both strengthen your leg muscles while keeping your heart beat up. A less aggressive form of exercise compared to running, walking still provides the same benefits without having to pound your feet against the ground.

Swimming– Another great exercise that helps to strengthen both muscles and joints while burning calories and increasing your heart rate, swimming is considered the one exercise that doesn’t put any tension on your muscles. This is because instead of holding yourself up, the water is doing the work for you. There are various styles of swimming from the backstroke to the doggie paddle, all of which help to build core strength.

Water Aerobics– Much like swimming, water aerobics is the more social of the two where classes are put together, generally 2 or 3 times a week, where seniors stand up in the water while doing minor weight training. Not only is water aerobics fun, but a great way to meet other like minded people.

Tennis– If you haven’t played tennis before and have watched competitive matches on TV, this sport may seem a little scary to you, but honestly what you see on TV is not how most people play the game. In the world of friendly tennis, it’s a game made for friends and families to enjoy, with minor physical stress.

Outdoor Yoga– Gaining popularity among all ages, yoga is a great way to strengthen core muscles while helping you to relax. Take yoga outside and you have an even calmer exercise that helps you to enjoy the fresh air that is so important to your health. This is also a very cheap activity as all you’ll need is a yoga mat and some easy-to-move-in clothes. If you’re on the social side, you’ll find that there are plenty of yoga classes to choose from, some of which are free to the public.

As you can see, there are many different ways to enjoy the outdoors while improving your physical health. Low impact outdoor activities are also a great way to steady your mental outlook. You’ll be exposed to new ways of viewing your daily existence and you’ll find a few new ways to meet others who are interested in the same thing. In both the long run and the short run, daily low impact exercise is essential for a healthy lifestyle.

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