These days it seems like we spend quite a bit of time at home. It might also be the case that your regular gym is not open. Despite all that, you still want to get in a quality workout. Exercise can not only help break up your routine and provide physical benefits, but it has also been shown to stave off cognitive decline.
Some people forego exercising due to a fear of injury or a fear they are too old, but it’s never too late to start working out. With that in mind, here are some great low impact workouts you can do at home, starting anytime.
A Low-Impact Jumping Jack
Jumping jacks offer a great cardiovascular workout. They use most of the muscle groups of your body. The problem is that all that jumping can be very hard on the joints of your legs as well as your lower back.
A good alternative is a low-impact jumping jack. You start this exercise by standing tall with your arms at your sides. As you move your hands above your head you move your right foot out to the side. Then you return to your starting position. You finish the exercise by doing the same move with your left foot.
This exercise offers a lot of movement but with minimal impact on your joints. The key to a good cardiovascular workout is to make the movements of your extremities long, but do not jump. The key is to slide your feet from side to side.
If you have ever tried any type of skating, whether on land or ice, you know how much of a workout it is. The benefit of this exercise is not so much in the skating itself but the movement involved.
Skating movements can be a part of a great low impact workout at home. Start in a standing position. Make your first move to your right. Move your left leg in a tucking motion behind your right leg in a type of exaggerated curtsy.
Your right arm should extend down and straight as your leg moves while keeping your left arm bent. You finish the move by coming back to your standing position. You then complete the exercise by moving in the opposite direction.
As with all other low impact exercises remember not to jump or hop at any point. The goal is a smooth movement of one leg with the other leg remaining anchored to the floor.
Squat and Jab
Squats are a great exercise that is also low impact. The reason being they are using some of the biggest muscles of your body found in your legs.
A great addition to the is move is to add in a jab punch as part of your squat. This makes this a full-body, fat-burning exercise.
Start in a standing position with feet about shoulder-width apart. Bend straight down into a low lunge making sure to keep your back straight and your head up. As you come back up from the lunge perform a jab-type punch with your left and then your right arm.
The greater the twist of your torso and the longer the reach of your arm, the more calories your bill burn. The same holds true for the depth of your squat.
Stand-Up Ab Crunch
We all know what a great workout ab crunches can be. The problem comes from poor form that can lead to injury.
A great low-impact alternative is to do a standing ab crunch. This move will work your oblique muscles to the max.
Start by standing with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Bend your arms and place both palms on the back of your head.
You begin the movement by raising your right leg towards your right elbow. As you do this you move your right elbow towards your right leg.
As you come back to the starting position, you then repeat the same move for your left side. It will not be long before your sides, hips, and upper legs will begin to feel the burn of this movement.
You don’t need a gym or huge impact for a great workout
The common theme of these workouts is that they can both burn calories and are relatively easy on your body, especially your joints. The key to these moves is to eliminate the desire to jump when moving.
Hopefully these suggestions can get you started working out today! Charles Davenport is a frequent collaborator with Senior Planning. Senior Planning offers a free service designed to help seniors and the disabled find long term care.