Exercise Tips and Routines for Seniors

November 4, 2019

Workout Routines for Older Adults and Seniors

As we age, maintaining an exercise regimen is incredibly important. An active body can help sustain an active mind and prevent diseases like arthritis, cancer, and diabetes, just to name a few.

According to the ODPHP, active older adults should be getting 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week or 75 to 150 minutes of high-intensity aerobic exercise per week. For older adults especially, this activity should include balance training and muscle strengthening.

Seniors that have chronic conditions that limit their physical capabilities should try to get as much low-impact exercise as they are able to each day. Below are some of the best senior exercise routines and workouts.

1. Stretching. Although not technically an exercise, warming up, cooling down and stretching are vital to any routine. Stretching routines for seniors allow the joints to move through the full range of motion prior to exercising. Stretching can also improve flexibility and prevent injuries.

2. Walking. If it is an option, walking is an excellent low-impact aerobic activity. It helps strengthen the cardiorespiratory system over time and should make up a large part of a senior’s weekly exercise.

3. Swimming. Swimming laps in a pool or even just wading is a great even lower-impact aerobic exercise than walking. This is a great alternative for older adults who want to get their hearts pumping but may have joint issues or arthritis.

4. Chores. Don’t underestimate the power of household tasks! Digging in the garden, carrying groceries, washing windows – all great examples of everyday movements that can help maintain muscle strength.

5. Yoga and Pilates. These two practices are beneficial to seniors because they focus on the core muscles. Ranging in intensity, both Yoga and Pilates engage the legs, abdominals, hips, and back to improve posture, balance, and build lean muscle.

6. Know your limits. Every senior’s physical abilities look different, so it’s important to be aware of your loved one’s limitations when suggesting an exercise routine for seniors. Be sure to avoid overheating and exhaustion and stay hydrated!

Most importantly, it's never too late to start! If you're an older adult who has never maintained a regular exercise routine, start easy and set goals along the way. Whether you start a walking club, join a gym or simply track your steps, every day is a good day to start being active.