Age shouldn’t stop you from working out and keeping yourself healthy. Regular exercise can help you keep your blood pressure from rising, and it also helps strengthen your bones and keep your energy levels high. It is important to exercise if you want to live a healthy, happy, and long life.
However, working out as a senior can be discouraging. You may be at a loss of what you can do, or what exercises are best for your body. Strength training may come easier, but cardio workouts can leave you stumped. Cardio raises your heart rate and increases your stamina, so it is important to practice cardio workouts a few times a week. To ensure you workout safely, follow these four cardio exercises that are easy on the body, but will provide you with the cardio benefits your body needs.
- Recumbent Exercise Bike
Recumbent exercise bikes provide a great cardio workout without the joint pain that more intense cardio exercises can inflict. When you exercise on a recumbent exercise bike, your back remains supported from the backrest. It is easy to sit and lean back, but the real challenge is the cardio workout it gives you from pedaling.
To use the recumbent exercise bike, sit on the bike and adjust your seating and pedals. After this, set the intensity you want to pedal at. The higher the intensity, the harder it will be to pedal. This provides a more intense workout, but even a light intensity will raise your heart rate. Pedaling on these bikes will increase the strength in your legs, enabling you to fall less and strengthening your bones. This is a great benefit to seniors, and it all comes from one easy exercise.
If you are just starting out with cardio workouts, go easy on the bike. Start with 10 minute sessions three times a week. As you build up your stamina, aim to do 20-30 minutes of biking four to five times weekly.
- Walking On the Treadmill
Another great cardiovascular workout for seniors is walking. Whether you walk around your neighborhood, or stick to a treadmill, walking is a great heart pumping workout. You can control how fast you walk and how far you walk for. Even seniors who are not very mobile can gently walk and get exercise.
The great thing about walking on a treadmill is the ability to track how fast and how far you are walking. Treadmills also have an increase in incline option, so you can strengthen your leg muscles by walking slightly uphill. Walking at a brisk pace can decrease your blood pressure, and it makes sure that you stay healthy and lean.
If you are just starting out with walking, try walking a mile a day. Don’t worry about how fast you are going. Slowly build yourself up to walk two to three miles a day. The pace doesn’t matter as much as the distance does. As long as you are walking at a brisk pace, you will get cardiovascular benefits.
- Light Jogging
If you don’t have any hip or knee problems, light jogging is a great cardio workout that helps aid with your weight loss. If brisk walking isn’t enough of a challenge for you, try lightly jogging instead. You can aim for a 10-13 minute per mile pace. This puts you slightly jogging, but not intensely running.
When lightly jogging, always pay attention to how your knees feel. If the pressure or strain is too much, go back to walking. Only try light jogging if walking is too easy of a workout. To start out, try lightly jogging for ¼ of a mile and then walk the remaining of the mile. As time goes on, increase your pace and try lightly jogging for up to a mile a day.
If you struggle with joint pain, swimming is a wonderful workout. Swimming is easy on the joints, but it provides just as great of a cardiovascular exercise as light jogging does. With swimming you can control your pace and the amount of laps that you do.
When swimming laps, try to focus on correct posture and breathing. Your whole body should be parallel to the bottom of the pool, and the top of your head should remain out of the water completely. Turn your head to the side and lift up to take a breath, then hold your breath as you continue stroking through the water. There are many different swimming strokes you can try, but the easiest will be freestyle, backstroke, and butterfly.
Do what feels right for you, and start with just four laps. As you start to build up strength and stamina, you can increase your laps to up to 20 a day. Swimming is a wonderful exercise, and it provides your whole body with a cardio workout.
Kelly is the founder of RegularityFitness, where she and associates blog about the best
fitness exercises, weight loss methods, diet, muscle building. That will help you get a
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