3 Low-Impact Exercises to Maintain Flexibility

Flexibility is an important part of life, no matter how old you are. However, it’s more important than ever to practice flexibility as you age. 

In older folks, flexibility can help with chronic pain and encourage steady balance, which decreases the risks of falls and injuries. Here are three low-impact exercises that can help you maintain flexibility.

What Does It Mean to Be Low-Impact?

A low-impact exercise is a movement that is gentle on your joints. Examples of low-impact exercises include swimming, Pilates, Tai Chi, and yoga.

Needless to say, low-impact exercises are less stressful to the body than high-impact exercises like running and jumping. These are activities that have a greater impact on your joints and feet. Some folks need to avoid high-impact exercises because they can lead to injuries and fractures.

How Exercise Improves Flexibility

“Exercise” is an umbrella term that can encompass a variety of movements and training styles, including weight training, aerobics training, and flexibility training. An example of flexibility training is stretching.

However, some strength-training exercises and movements can increase your flexibility, even if the movement itself isn’t considered stretching. Exercise can make you more flexible when you perform an exercise correctly and move through the full range of motion.

3 Low-Impact Exercises

These three low-impact exercises that improve flexibility combine resistance training with static stretching for optimal results.

1. Yoga

Yoga might be the most obvious out of all of these examples because it’s commonly associated with flexibility and stretching.

However, yoga is so much more than simply stretching. This form of exercise uses various positions (called “asanas” by yogis) to challenge your strength and balance.

A proper yoga routine will hit all major muscle groups and strengthen your core. While there are plenty of athletic-style yoga classes, many classical styles of yoga (in Orlando, skilled nursing facility programs practice classical yoga) safely take you through a variety of low-impact exercises that will get you stronger and more flexible in no time.

2. Pilates

Pilates is often confused with yoga, but they are extremely different disciplines. While they share some elements, Pilates has a different focus.

Pilates teaches you to relax your muscles and only focus on strengthening certain muscles at a time. The common phrase repeated by Pilates teachers is, “Can you move [insert body part] and nothing else?”

By training in this style, Pilates encourages better balance while strengthening and conditioning tight, weak muscles. By lubricating your joints and strengthening your muscles, Pilates also increases your flexibility.

3. Walking

Walking is not such an obvious flexibility-increasing exercise, but it indirectly leads to stronger and more flexible muscles.

Walking is a low-impact, weight-bearing exercise. Because it is weight-bearing, it increases the delivery of nutrition to your joints and the lubrication of your joints.

Uphill walking is low-impact while stretching your calf muscles. Take longer strides to help stretch out your hip flexors. Swing your arms as you walk to lubricate your upper body joints.

Do not underestimate the power of walking!

Finding Optimal Health at Assisted Living Facilities in Orlando, FL

Many older folks struggle with maintaining a healthy exercise routine as they get older due to fear of risk or injury.

In Orlando, skilled nursing facility programs include wellness portions to help safely guide you to a full-body health routine and thrive in your golden years.

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