Gentle Exercise

By Alyssa McFarland

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We all know exercise is beneficial, but how can you keep active when you are worried about falling, or have limited mobility? Fortunately there are a number of gentle exercise forms that can help us get our blood flowing, strengthen our muscles, and make us all around healthier. This article outlines a few of them.

Qigong and Tai Chi are ancient forms of gentle exercise from China. With a series of flowing, slow movements, you can revitalize your whole body.

Swimming is wonderful exercise. It helps in strengthening the heart and lungs, as well as toning the muscles in the rest of the body. Being buoyed up by the water is a pleasant way to be active, with little risk of injury.

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Walking is low impact, heart healthy, and helps seniors who have mobility retain it. If walking in Seattle rain doesn’t suit you, walk inside a mall, the grocery store, or even inside your own home. You might even consider walking meditation, which combines staying mindfully present (and the peaceful feelings that can bring) along with consciously walking a simple path.

Resistance bands are excellent for preventing age-related muscle loss, as well as osteoporosis. If you’ve done any physical therapy, you are likely familiar with them.

Stretching helps keep muscles loose and long. Tight muscles are not only uncomfortable, but can limit our range of motion. Just doing a bit of stretching in bed before getting up for the day can help you start the day fresh and invigorated.

Chair Exercises: Those who are unable to stand up for any length of time can adapt some of these activities to suit their abilities. I’ve seen examples of many yoga exercises, for example, that have chair-adapted forms.

Please check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program.

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3 thoughts on “Gentle Exercise

  1. Hmmm….this really has me thinking about exercise. I think I may have to investigate some of these very soon. I am certainly not getting any more flexible or in-shape just sitting and knitting and reading! I agree with Katie — the graphics are superb!

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