Gentle Exercise Can Improve Strength and Balance
Gentle Exercise Can Improve Strength and Balance

A Stronger, More Stable Body Without Weights

When seniors commit to increasing muscle strength, they help improve balance and lower their risk of osteoporosis and falls. A regular habit of strengthening exercises contributes to all-around improved well-being, but that doesn’t mean everyone needs to reach for dumbbells or hit the weight room.

Tai chi, yoga and parkour may not be the first workouts that come to mind when we think about building muscle, but here’s why their gentle approach to increasing strength and balance is perfect for aging adults.

Tai Chi for Muscle Strength and Balance

When practicing tai chi, participants perform slow and controlled movements. Being able to complete these exercises challenges muscles throughout the body, improving strength and balance over time.

Tai chi is also low impact and slow, which makes it ideal for individuals who are concerned about injury or falls. Signing up for a beginner’s class is a great choice for those who prefer not to learn a new exercise on their own.

Improving Balance and Strength With Yoga

Yoga combines deep breathing and a variety of postures. It’s a low-impact exercise and can be adjusted to accommodate a wide variety of fitness levels.

In a 2019 study, yoga was linked with a decreased likelihood of falls in seniors. Although it doesn’t challenge muscle strength like lifting weights, poses that involve supporting body weight can help build muscle.

Parkour Reduces Risks of Falls

For aging adults, a bad fall can be a major setback. Fall-related injuries have been connected with decreased independence and an increased risk of death. For those unfamiliar with this lesser-known physical activity, it is a free-form exercise performed on a pre-made course or on obstacles in the environment.

Although unexpected, Parkour is rising in popularity among this demographic because it actually helps adults learn how to fall more safely. Additionally, the challenges of a course can help improve muscle strength when practiced regularly.

As with any new workout routine, plan to visit with your doctor to decide if any of the exercises mentioned above are a good fit for you. Honor your body’s need for movement with a routine that feels good and won’t increase your risk of injury.

~To Your Retirement!