Baby Boomers are making it very cool to grow old! As part of the generation that saw 78 million babies born after WWII (between 1946-1964), many Boomers are now preparing to grow older in better health than previous generations.
In fact, recent stats show health and fitness club memberships for Boomers have increased 380% in recent years. That’s a lot of people 50+ who are regularly exercising and caring for their hearts!
Unfortunately, many types of exercises can become harder on the body as it ages. But luckily we now know that physical activities don’t need to be high-impact to show good results. (Note: don’t mix up low impact with low intensity. With low impact, you can still be moving enough to reach your target heart rate.)
There are many effective exercises that can improve heart health without too much bearing on the body. Here are 6 low impact forms to try:
Just like Yoga, Pilates includes breathing, stretching exercises and postures. In addition to improving your heart health, it can also assist in strengthening your core muscles, aligning your spine and preventing back pain.
- Power Yoga
Power yoga has many benefits in addition to boosting cardiovascular health. Based on the style of yoga you decide, you may see improvements in flexibility, balance and strength. Look for yoga DVDs or instructional classes that feature demanding, flowing yoga postures so you elevate your heart rate. Visit our Yoga webpage for available Yoga programs at NVRC.
Swimming is great because it gives you a full-body workout without placing any stress on your joints. Swimming is the perfect choice for individuals who can’t carry out weight-bearing exercises and enjoy exercising at their own pace. View our NVRC swimming page.
- Cross-country Skiing
Cross-country skiing is another great whole-body exercise that avoids putting stress on the joints. Cross-country skiing works the lower and upper body at the same time, making it one of the most effective and efficient cardio exercises.
- Elliptical Training
The elliptical trainer machine is another valuable exercise method because it works the muscles in your lower and upper body simultaneously. The elliptical trainer also places much less stress on your legs and knees compared to other types of cardiovascular machines, like the treadmill.
You don’t need to be a trained dancer to benefit from dancing. Dancing not only strengthens the heart, but it also helps you burn calories and enhance muscle tone. Zumba, salsa, ballroom dancing and square dancing are some of the most popular forms of dancing today.
Of course, you don’t have to be a Boomer to take care of your heart health. All of us should listen to the experts who advise us a healthy heart slows down the effects of ageing and reduces health risks. But remember- when considering an exercise, choose something you enjoy so you will continue doing it!
From Aquafit to Zumba, North Vancouver Recreation and Culture offers a wide variety of low-impact ways to get and stay in shape. Visit Fitness Programs to learn more.