Exercise Tips for Seniors

March 10, 2022

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 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, seniors should be getting 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity 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. Every senior’s physical abilities look different, so it’s important to be aware of your senior loved one’s limitations when suggesting an exercise routine. Be sure to avoid overheating and exhaustion by staying 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. Below are some of the best senior exercise routines and workouts!

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.

Walking

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.

Swimming

Swimming laps in a pool or even just wading is an 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.

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.

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.

Use a Fitness Tracker

An activity tracker is a wearable, wireless device that records your daily physical activity. According to a national study, fitness trackers have been successful in helping adults increase activity. Especially as we age, being active is important to help combat the increased risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, stroke, and obesity. Check here for best senior activity trackers.



Staying active is key to a healthy lifestyle and improved health. Enlivant communities offer a multitude of activities for your loved one to stay active and lead a healthy lifestyle.

Find your nearest community and learn more about life at Enlivant!