Best Low-Impact Sports for Seniors

2 January 2024

No matter what your age, regular exercise is crucial to staying healthy. For seniors, regular exercise also offers a way to manage chronic pains, a means of getting out and socialising, or better independence thanks to improved balance, strength, and stability.

If you're a senior who is just beginning their fitness journey, a low-impact sport is the perfect workout. It allows you to exercise effectively while not putting your body through too much strain, or risking injury. To help get you started, we've compiled a handy list of the Best Low-Impact Sports for Seniors, and some great accessories that can enhance your workouts.

What's Covered in This Guide?

What Are Low-Impact Sports?

A low-impact sport is an athletic activity that puts little to no stress or weight on the muscles and joints, and does not involve heavy-impact (e.g., your foot hitting the ground when sprinting). Low-impact sports offer an effective workout that can help to improve strength, endurance, or flexibility without putting a large amount pressure on your body.

Examples of low-impact sports include yoga, rowing, tai-chi, dance, and swimming.

Best Low-Impact Sports

Nordic Walking

Nordic walking involves using specially designed poles to engage the torso, and evenly disperse weight and pressure across the body. This offers a full-body workout, and an alternative to running for those who can't put too much pressure on their knees.

Recommended Accessory: BungyPump Number One Hiking and Stretching Poles (4kg Resistance)

BungyPump Number One Hiking and Stretching Poles (4kg Resistance)Key Features and Benefits:

• Adjustable height suits a wide range of users
• 90% of the body's muscles are activated during proper usage
• Accessible design is suitable for users at all levels
• 20cm suspension reduces the impact on your arms and shoulders

Editor's Verdict: These BungyPump poles are incredibly easy to adjust to chest-height using the twist-function on the bottom and middle part of the pole. They also feature 4kg resistance, making them useful for supporting various high intensity stretches. 

Additional Accessories: Enhance your Nordic Walking experience with the breathable Sidas Outdoor Memory Foam Hiking Insoles. The cushioning memory foam design helps to evenly distribute pressure to reduce aches and improve comfort.

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Hiking involves walking for long periods, usually in nature, where you're more likely to explore rough, uneven, or steep terrains. With the right tools, however, a hike through the country can feel as east as a stroll through your local park.

Recommended Accessory: Pro11 Massaging Gel Insoles for Walking, Hiking, and Running

Pro11 Massaging Gel Insoles for Walking, Hiking, and RunningKey Features and Benefits

• Breathable construction keeps feet cool and reduces odour
• Surface dot texture gently massages the feet for pain alleviation
• Designed to absorb impact to enhance wearer comfort
• Trimmable design can be easily tailored for a precise fit

Editor's Verdict: The quality Pro11 can make your hiking experience much more enjoyable by taking the strain off of your feet, and easing pre-existing aches and pains. With two easily-trimmable sizes available, you're sure to find a comfortable fit.

Additional Accessories: The Serola Sacroiliac Belt offers compression and support to the lower back, making it a great choice for preventing pains and strains during your workout. The belt also improves strength in the back, hips, and legs to help prevent injury.

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Cycling is a convenient way to get fit, offering both a way to work out and a means of getting about. Whether you're cycling through the city or pedalling across country roads, it's a fun way to get your blood pumping without over-exerting yourself.

Recommended Accessory: Donjoy Reaction Knee Brace

Donjoy Reaction Knee BraceKey Features and Benefits

• Absorbs shock and disperses energy across the knee
• Designed to enable a full range of motion while wearing
• Can also offer support for those partaking in water sports
• Works to stabilise the patella (knee-cap) for optimal support

Editor's Verdict: This breathable brace, supplied with an under-sleeve for improved comfort, is great for minimising post-cycling knee pain. This brace is available in various sizes, and has adjustable straps for a tailored and comfortable fit.

Alternative Accessories: The FlipBelt Black Running Storage Belt offers you a secure and portable place to securely store your belongings while cycling, ensuring that you never have to worry about things falling out of your pockets.

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Yoga is a well-established and popular form of mind-and-body exercise that involves a mix of stretching, postures and poses, breathing, and meditation techniques. This is a great choice for those who want a slower, and more relaxing way to stay fit.

Recommended Accessory: Yoga-Mad Warrior II Plus Yoga Mat (6mm)

Yoga-Mad Warrior II Plus Yoga Mat (6mm)Key Features and Benefits

• Available in purple, graphite, light blue, and dark blue shades
• Thick mat design ensures cushioning comfort during use
• Can be wiped clean or machine washed at 40°C
• Reliable grip on the floor minimises mat slippage

Editor's Verdict: A lightweight mat like this Yoga-Mad option is ideal for anyone who wants to practise yoga, offering a cushioning and comfortable space to practise without having to kneel or lie directly on the ground. This 183cm long mat is suitable for users of all heights.

Alternative Accessories: Yoga blocks are a handy accessory for both beginners and the more experienced yogi. The Yoga-Mad Cork Yoga Block is great for supporting proper positioning and aiding balance during your workout.

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Rowing is a sport that involves travelling or racing in a row boat, controlling your direction and speed using an oar. It's a fun and unique form of exercise suitable for a wide range of people, and focuses on the core and upper body.

Recommended Accessory: LP Neoprene Fitness Gloves

LP Neoprene Fitness GlovesKey Features and Benefits

• Designed to offer improved grip to prevent slippage
• Helps to protect your hands from blisters and friction burns
• Neoprene material retains your body's heat
• Four-way stretch construction ensures a comfortable fit

Editor's Verdict: These fantastic gloves are ideal for those who want to improve their grip strength for better control of an oar, creating a more comfortable rowing experience. These rubber-palm gloves are available in a range of sizes.

Alternative Accessories: The repetitive motion of rowing can cause pain and discomfort in the elbows and forearms. With the Vulkan Tennis Elbow Strap you can reduce pressure, make repetitive movements easier, and provide pain relief to affected areas.

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Other Low-Impact Sports

Whether you want to work out from the comfort of your home, exercise with a group of friends in the park, or head down to your local gym, there are plenty of low-impact workouts you can try to help you stay fit. If none of the above has caught your interest, you could also try:

What Are the Benefits of Low-Impact Sports?

Low-impact sports are just as effective as high-impact ones in terms of staying healthy and meeting your fitness goals. Some of the benefits for seniors choosing a low-impact sport over a high-impact one include:

  • You are less likely to aggravate an old injury or develop a new one during low-impact exercises 
  • Minimising the stress on your muscles and joints helps to reduce the post-workout aches and stiffness
  • Regular exercise can help to manage chronic conditions by improving joint flexibility, easing pains, and improving cardiovascular health
  • Low-impact exercise can help to ensure independence for longer by improving balance, stability, and strength

Low-impact sports are the perfect choice for seniors. Things like yoga, Nordic walking, and rowing allow you to stay fit, while ensuring that you'll still be able to complete your daily tasks once the workout is done. Whether you're exercising for fun or have a specific goal in mind, there are plenty of low-impact athletics that can be comfortable and practical for you.

Do you do any low-impact sports that help you to stay fit? Share your favourite sport below or on our Facebook or Twitter.