Fitness is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Not only does it keep you looking good on the outside, but exercising helps you avoid health problems that accompany a sedentary lifestyle. However, high-impact, strenuous exercise is ill-advised for some people due to age, injury, or a medical condition.
Just because you can’t do every exercise doesn’t mean you shouldn’t practice the ones you can. Even low-impact exercise supports better health, and people in better health are eligible for more life insurance products.
If you’re not sure if you’d qualify for life insurance following a stroke or another health crisis, you might be surprised to learn you have at least a couple of options.
But first, check out these low-impact exercises to get you moving and keep you on the path to better help.
5 Low-Impact Exercises to Improve Your Health
Before starting an exercise program, you should seek the blessing of your health care provider.
#1 – Walking Workouts Possible for Anyone
For some people, walking is the ideal low-impact exercise. The faster you walk, the more your heart rate will increase, so a vigorous powerwalk could count as a cardio workout.
But walking doesn’t only count if you walk far and fast. You can tailor your walking exercise to your level of ability. You can try seated walking. A quick online search will give you several seated walking class options if you’re interested in a structured program.
Walking helps lower your risk of cardiovascular complications and strengthens your muscles and bones.
#2 – Yoga Is for Everyone
Like walking, yoga programs can be compatible with nearly any physical restrictions or impairments. Postpartum yoga helps moms connect with the changes in their bodies and build strength. Chair yoga gives those with muscle or balance weakness a chance to experience the benefits of stretching and strengthening their backs, arms, legs, and more.
Power flows are ideal for individuals looking for a strenuous workout that’s gentle on their joints. There’s truly a yoga program that’s right for just about everyone.
The benefits of yoga extend past the physical. There’s also mental and spiritual strengthening as you connect with your breath and intention.
#3 – Swimming Saves Your Joints
This exercise program isn’t as accessible as walking and yoga, which you can do anywhere. To swim, you need access to a pool. But if you can manage to get to a pool, you can work muscles that may not be affected by low-impact exercises any other way.
Lap swimming is one option to exercise in the water. Many pools offer water aerobics classes, which can be a lot of fun because you get to participate with others and make new friends.
Water creates resistance, so you have to push water aside with every movement you make. For example, if you lift weights outside of the water, you must create your own resistance when moving, but in a pool, the water gives you something to push against in every direction.
#4 – Bicycling With Options to Fit Your Needs
Riding outdoors lets you soak in the sunshine and breathe in the fresh air. It’s good for your spirits to get outside.
But like so many other low-impact activities, riding a bicycle outdoors up a mountain isn’t for everyone, but some options can suit a wide range of abilities.
Stationary bikes can provide you with a place to exercise your body without worrying about the balance aspect of a traditional bike. You can even get a workout with floor pedals that you can use while seated in whatever supportive chair you want.
Biking can strengthen your legs, which contain some of the biggest muscles in your body. Working large muscle groups helps you burn calories more quickly.
#5 – Nordic Skiing Isn’t Just for the Winter
You might not even live where it snows, and if you do, you may not want to face the chilly air or risk of winter car crashes, but don’t worry. There are indoor options to practice Nordic skiing.
If you want to get outside in the cold winter, cross-country skiing is one way to get a low-impact workout that strengthens your arms and legs. You might think of it as strictly a leg exercise routine, but your arms will tell you otherwise after a morning on the trail. If you feel the burn from a day skiing, make sure you set aside time for recovery.
Indoors, treadmill-like Nordic sets let you experience similar movements as cross-country skiing and provide similar cardiovascular and muscle-building benefits.
Good Health Means Better Life Insurance Options
Life insurance is essential for some and an option worth considering for others. If you have heart disease or have had a stroke, you won’t have as many options as someone without a complex medical history, but there is a solution.
Life Insurance Following Significant Health Issues
If you’ve had a stroke, you probably won’t qualify for a standard term or whole life insurance policy. But if your employer offers a life insurance program, you may be able to opt in with your employment as the only condition of your eligibility.
Another way to get an insurance policy even if you’ve had a heart attack or diabetes is with a guaranteed life insurance policy. These policies are created to cover end-of-life costs, so their maximum benefit is small compared to other life insurance products. But it may be better than nothing.
Even if you can find a policy following health complications, you’ll pay more for it because the insurance company will label you with a higher risk classification. So you may want to work with a financial advisor to develop a better-suited financial plan.
Life Insurance Risk Categories: How Good Health Can Save You Thousands
Life insurance companies consider your current health information like your height, weight, bloodwork, and health history to give you a risk classification.
A preferred risk category indicates that the insurance company thinks you’re a good bet to live for a long time, so you’ll pay lower premiums if you’re in this category.
If you’re borderline overweight or diabetic, getting into shape can revolutionize your life. So when you consider that COVID-19 may lead to an increased risk of diabetes, you should be even more motivated to take control of your health.
With better health, you can climb to a better risk category which can save you hundreds of dollars every year and thousands of dollars over the course of paying your premiums for the duration of your policy.
Regardless of why you’re looking for low-impact exercises, the activities listed above will get you moving and help you improve your health, which will make you feel better on both the inside and outside.
Melanie Musson writes and researches for the life insurance comparison site, QuickQuote.com. She’s passionate about helping others understand the connection between better health and life insurance savings.