As you get older, physical activity and exercise really helps you stay healthy, active and independent. However, making sure it is fun, and that you can do it with relative ease, is important too.

Keeping fit is an essential part of making sure that aches and pains don’t catch up on you, and can help with lowering the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, depression and dementia. Remaining active ensures that you can continue to enjoy activities and hobbies that you have always loved.

Physical activity can include all sorts, from simple sitting exercises to practicing yoga or walking around the garden. Guidelines suggest you should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate activity each week, especially as you begin to age.

Here are five low-impact physical activities to try, that can help improve your health and wellbeing:

1. Aerobic Exercises – Yoga

Aerobic Yoga

The one regret you will have when taking up yoga is that you didn’t start sooner. Many people often start yoga in their seventies, as a result of its health benefits.

Previous research suggests that regular yoga practice can be hugely beneficial for people with aches and pains, including lower back pain, heart disease, high blood pressure, as well as depression and stress – and can improve overall mental wellbeing. Yoga is often popular amongst people living with arthritis, as it is a gentle way to promote flexibility and strength.

You can start practicing yoga at any point, even if you have never tried it before, as there are classes and exercises for every age group at every level. You might find activities like meditation helpful, too.

2. Table Tennis

Bowling Elderly

Activities such as table tennis have been proven to improve motor skills and increase blood flow to the brain.

Table tennis is a great way to engage with physical activity as it is competitive, and is sociable and entertaining for those who participate. Playing table tennis also improves hand-eye co-ordination and balance, and builds self-confidence to help reduce the likelihood of a fall.

Table tennis can be played by people of any age, and can even be played sitting down.

3. Bowling

Bowling Elderly

Bowling is not only a popular sport but also a very beneficial one.

Bowling improves muscle toning and strengthening, speeds up your metabolism, relieves stress and improves hand-eye coordination. Not only that but bowling improves your social life, leading to a reduced risk of disease.

4. Walking

Walking Elderly

Walking is an ideal form of exercise for people if you are not used to regularly exercising, but want to start being more physically active. Regular walking of a moderate intensity has been shown to have wider health benefits, reducing the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, asthma and type 2 diabetes.

Walking in a group or with a friend is a great way to stay motivated, get physically active and socialise at the same time. What’s more, you won’t even realise that you are exercising!

If you feel you are able, you can always finish your walk off with some gentle stretches to improve your flexibility.

5. Sitting Exercises

Excercise Elderly

Gentle sitting exercises are a really easy way of improving your mobility and fitness, and can be done from the comfort and confidence of your arm chair.

Sitting exercises are movements that can be built up slowly and can begin to be gradually repeated over time. Combining a few sitting routines together and performing them at least twice a week can really help to improve core strength, balance and coordination.

By sitting on a chair, which is stable and solid, you can also carry out exercises which are good for your overall posture, such as chest stretches.

It is advised that you consult a fitness professional or healthy professional if you are living with chronic pain or illness, before you try certain physical activities.

Here is a exercise program with numerous types of seated exercises that you can try today: Chair Excercises For Older Adults (PDF)