Think you’re too old to start or keep exercising? Think again! You can build strength and stamina while going easy on your joints. Read on to discover 11 exercise ideas for seniors that are perfect for every fitness level.
Swimming: Improve Recovery with Low Impact Exercise
Swimming is an excellent, low impact way to get your cardio. The constant full body movement gets your heart rate up quickly. Water surrounds your joints with a protective cushion. It increases blood flow back towards your heart and reduces swelling. Swimming is an excellent exercise for seniors at any level of skill.
Reap the Resistance Benefits of Water Aerobics Classes
If swimming isn’t your thing, you can still get the benefits of water exercise through water aerobics. You’ll remain upright, usually in waist deep water, and perform aerobic exercises according to the instructor. The water adds resistance to your movements.
Build Strength, Improve Flexibility, and Cultivate Wellness with Yoga
Yoga is a series of exercises performed on a mat that are designed to improve physical, spiritual and mental well-being. There are many different styles of yoga that range from beginner to advanced. They have different goals, for example, meditation or core building. Yoga can be an excellent way to manage mental stress, build your physical strength and flexibility. It’s one of those exercise ideas for seniors that’s a real must!
Strengthen Your Core and Balance with Pilates
Pilates is often compared to yoga. While pilates does involve mat work, classes may also include work on other machines as well. Pilates is designed to improve strength, muscle toning, body control and flexibility. It starts with the core and works outward. Pilates usually doesn’t involve a meditation component, while yoga often does. Some take both yoga and Pilates classes so they’re getting the mental and spiritual benefits. The author of “How to Make Disease Disappear” published beginner routines to try before taking on advanced techniques in a classroom.
Cultivate Mindfulness with Tai Chi
Tai chi is a mind-body practice that originated in China as a martial art. It is a series of movements to calm both mind and body. This gentle practice is a great option for those who are new to fitness. Adapt these movements to accommodate a variety of conditions. This includes recovering from surgery or being in a wheelchair.
Get Up and Moving with Dance Classes for Seniors
Dance classes are a fun way to get your heart rate up and your body moving. Learn something new while improving your coordination! If you have a willing partner, you all can go to couples dancing classes such as swing or ballroom dancing. There are also more fitness-focused dance classes, such as the ever-popular Zumba movement. The classes have a social element as an added bonus. Meet new people even as you work up a sweat.
Build a Solid Foundation with Bodyweight Training
Common bodyweight exercises include squats, lunges, deadlifts, calf raises, push-ups, planks and more. Bodyweight exercises are a great way to work on your form and build a solid foundation.
Add Intensity Gradually with Resistance Band Exercises
Resistance bands are an excellent way to slowly add intensity to your strength routine. They are relatively affordable to buy and easy to store. They also reduce the risk of dropping a weight on your foot.
Make a Daily Routine of Walking
Walking is one of the best exercises for you, not to mention one of the simplest. All you need is a supportive pair of shoes and you’re off. A brisk walk around the neighborhood is a great way to work exercise into your daily routine. Trips to the park on the weekends are great way to increase volume of work.
Increase your Heart Rate with Low Impact Cycling
Riding a bike is another low-impact cardiovascular activity. Cycling is easy on the joints while getting your heart rate up, even on a stationary bike. Stationary cycling reduces the risk of falls. You don’t need helmet or other special equipment. Check out cycling classes if you want a social or teaching component as well.
Work Around Mobility Issues with Chair Exercises
If you’re new to fitness, start off with easy movements like ankle and wrist rolls and single leg calf raises. This will get your body used to moving in the chair. Add weights or resistance bands to up the intensity.
Take Action with these Workout Routines for Older Adults!
It’s never too late to start exercising at any age. Check with your doctor before starting any exercise routine. Staying active will boost your overall well-being. Give these exercise ideas for seniors a try! Don’t forget to take rest days to keep from overworking your body.
About the author:
Kaki Zell is the Vice President and co-owner of Ames Walker. She graduated from Virginia Tech and went on to work for Pepsi. Kaki joined the family business several years afterward. She enjoys running, hiking, traveling, Virginia Tech football & spending time with family & friends.