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Just because you’re getting a little older, it doesn’t mean you have to stop moving. Physical activity is critical to taking care of your heart as an older adult. And there are plenty of cardio exercises for seniors you can try.
Many studies already illustrate the benefits of cardio exercises for seniors. In fact, even low levels of exercise can reduce cardiovascular risk in seniors. Older adults who are moderately inactive can cut their risk for heart disease by nearly 15 percent.
The types of exercise you do don’t matter as much as finding something you like and just doing it. Even 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise, five days a week, can make a difference. So, let’s take a look at some of the cardio exercises for seniors that may benefit you.
One of the best cardio exercises for seniors is walking. In fact, you can do it at almost any age and start immediately. Walking is a great place for older adults who haven't been exercising regularly to start. That’s even if you’ve had some health issues in the past because it is such a low-impact exercise.
Older adults who walk experience many health benefits including:
Start slow and add a little each day. You can even get a little strength training in at the same time by carrying some light weights in your hands.
Jogging is the next step up from walking and another great cardio exercise for seniors. It’s considered to be more of a moderate-intensity exercise, so definitely talk to your doctor before you begin.
An added benefit of a weight-bearing exercise like jogging (or walking) is it can help increase the strength of your bones and reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis and fractures.
Nothing gets your heart rate going like a good bike ride. It’s a great cardio workout and will help you build strength in your legs for balance.
And you can do it all year long. When the weather is bad you can move your ride inside to a stationary bike or an indoor bike trainer.
Researchers say this is because, unlike land-based sports, swimming requires you to create your own base of support and, at the same time, to produce a coordinated movement of both your upper and lower body.
This low-impact cardio exercise for seniors provides many benefits including:
An added benefit is, you’ll never sweat!
Studies show that older adults who dance on a regular basis benefit greatly. It’s a great cardio exercise for seniors who are looking to improve things like:
The good news is the style or type of dancing you do doesn’t matter as much as doing it.
Dancing is also great because you typically need a partner. Studies show that if you find a friend to exercise with. It can help you to stick to your fitness routine.
Exercise is a great way to help reduce your risk for chronic health conditions. If you’re an older adult and trying to decrease your health risks download our guide: “The Most Concerning Health Issues for Older Adults.” Inside you’ll find out which disease affects 25 percent of older adults in the United States and get more tips on how to prevent falls.