The truth of the matter is, we’re all getting older. But getting older doesn’t have to signal the end of your life as you know it. For years, our culture has told us that as we age, we spend more time doing crossword puzzles on the couch and less time exercising, but these days common wisdom is pushing the boundaries on the cultural perception of age. More and more people continue to exercise throughout their lives and find new ways to stay fit and healthy as they age.
And while we know that exercise doesn’t have to stop as you age, most people need to make shifts to their exercise routines so they can pursue healthy living in a safe and manageable way. If you had given up on exercise, thinking it is a young person’s game, we’ve got great news for you. The following is a list of low-impact, heart-healthy exercises you can start doing today.
Take A Hike
If you were ever a runner, you know that the sport has significant cardiovascular benefits but can be tough on aging joints. The high impact on your hips, knees, and ankles can leave some former runners feeling like it’s time to give up exercise altogether. The good news is, you may not be a runner anymore, but you can still be a walker. Walking is one of the best, low-impact exercises you can add to your healthy living routine. For starters, it minimizes all of the heavy impacts of running while still maintaining the great cardiovascular workout that keeps your heart healthy and strong. Another great benefit of walking is that you don’t need a gym or any expensive equipment to start. Just toss on a pair of shoes, and you can be exercising in no time. Whether you’re strolling your neighborhood, walking on a treadmill at the gym, or window shopping with friends, a commitment to walking is the easiest low-impact way to increase your heart health.
Pedal Your Way To Heart Health
Another great low-impact exercise is biking. Unlike some exercises, biking and walking are both fun activities that make you feel like you’re not working hard at all. Take your beach cruiser out for a ride on the sand, or ride your bike to meet up with friends. It’s a mode of transportation and a tool for building a strong and healthy heart all at once. When you’re committed to healthy living, you can find lots of ways to integrate fun, low-impact exercise into your life while keeping it fun. In Florida, we have the benefit of generally mild winters meaning that you can get your blood pumping while peddling your bike virtually all year long.
Give Swimming A Try
If you’ve ever tried to tread water, you know how great of a cardiovascular exercise swimming can be. The way your limbs glide through the water requires enough effort from your muscles to give you a great workout without ever making an impact with a hard surface. Swimming is one of the best ways to get a workout and strengthen your cardiovascular system without putting undue pressure on your joints. If you don’t have a pool at home or have access to a community pool, check with a YMCA or other gym facility for access to their pool. Better yet, when the weather is nice, take advantage of some of the natural bodies of water in Central Florida. Lakes, springs, and the ocean are also great places to practice your new healthy living routine.
Try Something New With Friends
People have mixed feelings about group exercise classes, but we still think it’s worth adding to this list. Most gyms offer various low-impact classes to get a great cardiovascular workout in a safe and fun way. Yoga, TaiChi, and spinning are just a few of the exercise options for people looking to boost their cardiovascular health. Plus, group classes are a fun way to meet like-minded people and develop lasting friendships.
You hear about easy, flash in the pan diets all the time. They say, just quit eating gluten or join this exercise craze, and you’ll be healthier. But we hope you know by now that isn’t true. Real healthy living is the combination of hundreds of small choices that you make. Committing to starting your day with a healthy breakfast, avoiding foods that take a toll on your cardiovascular health, minimizing your stress, and focusing on good sleep patterns are just some of the ways that you can invest in your cardiovascular health. And another great way to commit to healthy living is by creating a habit of low-impact cardiovascular exercise.
Regular exercise is not only great for your heart and body, but it’s also great for your mind, your mood, and your self-esteem. But don’t take our word for it. If you’re not already exercising, commit yourself to one of the options above a couple of days a week. You’ll be amazed at the overall impact exercise will have on your life. If you have more questions about how to protect your cardiovascular health or make a commitment to healthy living, contact our office today.