Regardless of your age, exercise history, health or physical conditions, there are many ways to overcome mobility issues and reap the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of exercise. Applying special training techniques, or modified training can help relieve different physical or underlying health restaints like: muscle tightness or soreness, strains, tears, arthritis, osteoporosis, body part replacements, diabetes, asthma, or high blood pressure. Modified techniques provide cautious, less intense training sessions for individuals within an older population, too; keeping their bodies mobile while minimizing the risk of injury.
Here are 6 tips to help you modify your workouts. They are applicable to ALL populations, but are particularly beneficial to anyone with orthopedic issues.
1. Opt for Low-Impact Cardio: Low-impact exercises are characterized by one foot always being in contact with the ground. Low-impact moves include:
These moves minimize joint impact while promoting bone density and aerobic endurance and are most beneficial for older adults and individuals with back or lower body orthopedic issues.
2. Keep it Functional: It’s important to incorporate movements that mimic everyday activities. Some examples include:
3. Add Balance Exercises: It is important to incorporate various progressions of stability exercises to develop core strength. This is vital for
This type of movement allows us to feel safe in everyday activities, particularly older adults who have an already diminished sense of equilibrium. Some examples of exercises include:
4. Non-Traditional Strength Training – Isometric: This type of strength training method differs from the basic repetitions done with an eccentric (lengthening) and concentric (shortening) movement. Isometric strength training involves holding a muscle contraction with no change in muscle length/ joint movement for a designated period of time. It is an excellent tool for building bone density, which is very valuable to patients with arthritis or osteoporosis. Specific exercise examples include:
5. Cardio or strength training (without use of the lower body): This type of workout would include any seated machine that focuses on upper body movement, such as
This type of exercise increases aerobic capacity and muscular strength while eliminating low body impact, which is especially valuable to patients of
6. Get in the Water: Water aerobics is a great cardio format that offers benefits for people with orthopedic or health issues.
Most land-based exercises are transferrable to water exercise including –
Remember, any type of exercise that you can do given your conditions will offer you benefit. After all, the key is movement.