Popular forms of exercise

Walking

Positives:

Simple, easy, able to do anywhere, anytime and it’s free.

Considerations:

Not much of a cognitive, balance, mobility or upper body strength component. May or may not have a social or interactive element. May or may not get your heart rate up sufficiently.

 

Running and jogging

Positives:

As for walking you can do this anywhere, anytime and it’s free.

Considerations:

High impact so could aggravate knees, hips or spine. May or may not have a social or interactive element.

Cycling - outside

Positives:

Great for osteoarthritis in the knees. Non-weight bearing and low impact so less stress on joints.

Considerations:

As weight is supported cycling doesn’t provide a bone strengthening element and due to the forward position doesn’t strengthen upper back to counter round shouldered posture. Need access to a bike and require safe or suitable cycling routes. It is also weather dependent.

Indoor cycling

Positives:

A class situation which is motivating. Can adjust intensity using stationery bikes and it’s not weather dependent.

Considerations:

As weight is supported, cycling doesn’t provide a bone strengthening element and due to the forward position doesn’t strengthen upper back to counter round shouldered posture. You will need a stationery bike at home or join a gym class.

Swimming

Positives:

Non-weight bearing so very supportive of joints. Good cardio opportunity.

Considerations:

Because weight is supported by water aqua exercise doesn’t provide a bone strengthening element, sufficient muscle strengthening or balance work. Access to a swimming pool is required.

 

Gym

Positives:

Equipment provides for both cardio and resistance exercise. Balance and flexibility work can be included. Able to personalise and progress at your own rate.

Considerations:

For some people a gym may be an unfamiliar environment and they lack the confidence to go to one. You will need access to a gym and to an exercise professional that can advise on a well- designed programme – both of which may be a costly options.

Seated classes

Positives:

Suitable for those with limited mobility. Can include strength work with bands and weights.

Considerations:

No balance component if remain seated. Not sufficiently intense for more functional adults. Access to classes will have a price attached to them.

Circuit classes

Positives:

Able to work at your own pace. Cardio, resistance and balance work all provided for.

Considerations:

Costs involved include having a good instructor to provide options and alternatives.

Yoga

Positives:

Balance, strength and flexibility provided for. Good focus on breathing.

Considerations:

Unlikely to get a cardio component. Can do in a class or at home. Need a teacher to provide alternatives and options, which could cost.

 

Tai Chi

Positives:

Balance and strength as well as a cognitive component inherent in learning moves. Gentle and flowing.

Considerations:

No cardio component. Need access to a teacher, which can cost.

Pilates

Positives:

Good for core strength and alignment. Slow and controlled.

Considerations:

No cardio component. Generally insufficient balance work. Need to pay for a trained Pilates instructor.

Zumba and Dancing

Positives:

In Zumba there is a cardio component, and a music and class situation can be motivating. For dancing, cardio (depending on type of dance) and cognitive component inherent in learning moves.

Considerations:

No resistance work. Not much balance involved. Need access to classes.

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