Group exercises are a great way to get in shape, especially if you’re a senior. A variety of classes will help strengthen your musculoskeletal system and improve your cardiovascular health.
But there are some classes that may be better suited for seniors than others. For example, if you have any balance issues or orthopedic problems, it’s best to avoid high-impact classes like step aerobics. Instead, consider low-impact classes like yoga or tai chi.
Here are five group exercise classes that are particularly beneficial for seniors:
- Tai chi is an ancient Chinese martial art that promotes relaxation through slow movements and breathing exercises. It can help ease anxiety, depression and insomnia; improve balance and reduce stress on joints; and increase strength and flexibility in muscles used during everyday tasks like walking and getting up from a chair. Tai chi is low impact, so it’s easy on the joints and doesn’t require lots of jumping around or fast-paced movements that might cause falls or injuries such as sprains or strains.
- Yoga is another low-impact activity that can help prevent falls by improving balance and increasing flexibility in muscles used during everyday tasks like walking and getting up from a chair.
- Water aerobics. Water-based exercises can be low impact on joints, which is beneficial for people with arthritis or other joint problems. Water also provides resistance that helps build muscle strength and endurance. And since the water supports your body weight, it’s easier than land-based exercises to maintain proper form.
- Flexibility training. Stretching helps relieve muscle tightness from sitting at a desk all day and improves range of motion in your joints. Flexibility training can also help reduce risk of injury during exercise or everyday tasks like reaching up into cabinets or bending down to pick up objects off the floor.
- Walking program. Walking is one of the best exercises for overall fitness because it improves cardiovascular health, reduces stress levels, increases muscle strength and builds bone mass — all without putting too much stress on your joints.