The Benefits of Cardio for Seniors and 6 Examples

Cardio is a vital component of your exercise routine. By definition, cardio workouts promote cardiovascular health, strengthening the heart muscle and improving function. When making cardio a regular part of your exercise regimen, you can expect to see improvements to your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, insulin sensitivity, lung capacity, and so much more. However, since you don’t want to put too much strain on the old ticker, consider focusing on low-impact exercises to start.

Cardio Exercises for Seniors

No matter your current fitness level, there are cardio options for your workout. While those dealing with weight issues might not be ready to run, taking a few steps every day can still help. There are at least six cardio exercises that seniors can do, regardless of their current fitness level.

1. Cycling

Do you have a bicycle? If not, you might want to think about getting one. Cycling is one of the best low-impact cardio exercises. The beauty, even if you do not trust your balance, you can find adult trikes, taking balance out of the equation, allowing you to enjoy the ride.

2. Walking

Many people believe that walking is not an effective form of exercise, especially when compared to running, but that is not true. Walking carries many of the same benefits as running. However, to achieve the same calorie loss, you will need to walk at least twice as long.

3. Running

Running offers a greater opportunity to lose weight than walking, but it is also harder on your joints and bones. You should only attempt running if you are in good physical condition and are used to the exercise's rigors and techniques.

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4. Dancing

If you want to boost your energy levels and get rid of some extra stress you’ve been carrying, consider dancing. The activity is not only good for the heart and cardiovascular health; it can also improve balance, strength, and mobility while reducing muscle pain and joint stiffness.

5. Stair Climbing

Similar to dancing, stair climbing can be a beneficial exercise for seniors. Routine climbing can encourage flexibility and balance while building muscle in the legs. However, not every senior should attempt stair climbing, especially if you do not have confidence in your abilities. If you experience falls due to mobility or a lack of muscles, a staircase is a potentially dangerous addition to your exercise regimen.

6. Water Aerobics

Water-based exercises, such as water aerobics, offer similar benefits to other activities on this list: improved mobility, balance, and coordination. Additionally, through the resistance training achieved through hydrostatic pressure, seniors can build muscle in a safe and controlled environment. As with other forms of cardio, water aerobics also reduces the risks of heart disease.

Weight-Bearing Cardio

While water exercises, like swimming, and cycling do provide cardiac benefits, seniors should also balance these low-impact activities with weight-bearing cardio exercises. These exercises will include walking, dancing, sports, etc. When choosing weight-bearing cardio options, you can strengthen your heart and bones.

Do you already have a cardio routine, and does it include anything on this list? If not, leave a comment describing your regimen and explaining why you chose the exercises you did.

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