With age, joints naturally become stiffer, and bones get weaker. But skipping exercise can make the problem worse. While it is important to incorporate regular exercise into our lifestyles, sometimes heavy physical activity can have a negative impact on our joints. Low-impact exercise is a type of exercise that places less stress upon the joints of knees, hips, and ankles.
Low-impact does not mean low intensity. Low-impact exercises can be high, moderate, or low-intensity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week as well as muscle-strengthening, flexibility and balance exercises. The good news is the activity can be spread out over a 5-day period.
The term “low-impact exercise” sounds boring, but don’t worry. There are plenty of low-impact exercises to choose from such as swimming, walking, cycling, dancing, and even Tai Chi. Low-impact exercise for seniors is just as beneficial for younger people and can be a part of a daily regimen. Walking, taking the stairs, or getting up from the desk occasionally can produce positive results without a lot of effort.
Exercise is important for good health at any age, before getting started consult with a physical therapist to determine the appropriate plan of exercise.