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Exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle throughout life. But as you age, your body changes, and there are certain types of exercises that you have to give more preference to maintain your physicality.

Regular exercise is vital for seniors because of decreased physical activity. As you age, you realize that you no longer have the energy to engage in intense physical activities as before. Furthermore, your bones and muscles lose their tenacity, making physical activity challenging.

But you should not let advanced age get in the way of your fitness and wellbeing. If you feel you lack the strength to lift some weight, then start with low impact exercises. Exercise pedals for elderly people are a perfect option in this category. They are ideal for arms, legs, and upper body training.

Once you feel that you need to do more, you can take up more variations for better impact. Here are a few exercises that you may find helpful.

7 Best Exercise for Seniors

1. Walking

Well, walking is one of the best exercises you can take as a senior. The good thing about walking is that it is easy and inexpensive. Walking is a low impact exercise that does not need any equipment: all you need is a path where you can take routine walks.

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Fitness experts recommend 10,000 steps per day for the best results, but this may be a challenge for seniors in the more advanced age group. Those with chronic joint pain and other health conditions may also find taking long walks a challenge. Whatever your case, ensure that you walk as much as your body can allow.

Walking offers numerous health benefits. Walking just 30 minutes daily improves blood circulation, resulting in better cardiovascular fitness. Walking will also help you shed off excess body fat, strengthen your bones, and boost muscle power and endurance.

2. Swimming

Swimming is an excellent exercise for maintaining fitness. If you have a pool at home, don’t let it go to waste. Make a habit of swimming regularly, and you will experience improved fitness within weeks.

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As you age, your flexibility reduces, and you find that turning your neck or moving your joints can become challenging. You can take up swimming to improve flexibility. Swimming can also help improve several aspects of your physical and mental health, including building bone mass and muscle strength and reducing weight, inflammation, stress, and depression.

3. Water Aerobics

You don’t like swimming! Then consider water aerobics. Exercising in water is a great way to do your favorite exercise. If you have joint pain or arthritis, exercising in the water will make it more bearable as the buoyancy helps reduce the weight on your joints.

Water also puts natural resistance so you can exercise without weights and achieve the same results. Water aerobics, like swimming, improves flexibility, balance, and strength. Some water aerobic exercises you can take up are:

  • Standing water push-ups
  • Flutter kicking
  • Arm curls
  • Aqua jogging
  • Leg lifts

4. Pilates

Pilates is a great exercise for older adults since it improves core strength, breathing, alignment, and concentration. If you have some free space in your living room or garage, all you need are Pilates balls, mats, or other inflated materials.

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As an older adult, here are some pilates exercises you can try:

  • Leg circle
  • Mermaid movement
  • Food slides
  • Step-ups
  • Side circles

5. Chair Yoga

Yoga is excellent for flexibility, but older adults may not have the level of flexibility required for normal yoga. But they can opt for chair yoga since it is low impact and places less strain on their joints and muscles.

Chair yoga flexibility, mobility, strength, balance and helps build muscle. If you take chair yoga regularly, you will also be able to sleep better and improved general wellbeing due to improved blood circulation. Here are some chair yoga exercises you can try at home:

  • Seated mountain pose
  • Overhead stretch
  • Seated twist
  • Seated cow stretches
  • Seated cat stretches

6. Strength Training

Aging comes with the increased wearing of muscles. So, you need to engage in exercises that help build and maintain muscles. Strength training exercises will help you build muscle, stay healthier, and enjoy life in old age.

Strength training helps your muscles and reduces the signs and symptoms of many chronic conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, obesity, heart disease, and back pain. Some exercises to keep your muscles strong and healthy include:

  • Dead bugs
  • Wall push-ups
  • Squats
  • Lying hip bridges
  • Toe stands

7. Abdominal Bracing

Your core is what supports your spine. With a weak core, you will be more prone to falling, leading cause of injuries in older adults. So, older adults should also focus on exercises that strengthen the core.

Abdominal bracing is a simple but effective way to strengthen your core and improve posture. Abdominal bracing activates the transverse abdominis, the muscle that wraps around the core, making it stronger.

Exercises Seniors Should Avoid

Exercise is good for older adults, but not all types of exercises are ideal. Some exercises will put unnecessary strain on your joints and muscles, increasing the chances of injury.

As a senior, here are some exercises you should avoid:

  • High-intensity interval training
  • Abdominal crunches
  • Deadlift
  • Bench press
  • Long-distance running

References

https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/downloads/growing_stronger.pdf

https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/ten-benefits-swimming-you-may-not-know-about.html

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/walking-for-good-health