Best Exercises For Seniors

A study of 334,000 Europeans found that those who went from inactive to moderately inactive had a 16 to 30 percent drop in death risk. Seniors that exercise regularly are less likely to depend on others for bathing, cooking, eating and dressing. If your self-reliance is important, exercise is one of the best ways to maintain your independence.

Here are some of the best exercises for seniors to choose from:

Chair Yoga

Chair yoga is a wonderful low-impact exercise that improves muscle strength, mobility, balance and flexibility. These areas of improvement are critical health aspects. Chair yoga is easily accessible and provides less stress on muscles, joints, and bones. It improves sleep, lowers depression and improves mental health.

Chair yoga exercises include:

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

Water Aerobics

Water aerobics is an exceptional form of exercise for seniors. For those living with arthritis and other joint pain issues, the buoyancy of the water puts less stress on your joints. Water aerobics improves your strength, flexibility and balance due to the natural resistance of the water.

Water aerobic exercises include:

  1. Aqua jogging
  2. Flutter kicking
  3. Leg lifts
  4. Standing water push-ups
  5. Arm curls

Resistance band workouts

When stretch strips of resistance bands are added to your workout routines, they will improve your posture, mobility and balance. These workouts have reduced stress on your body which makes them very popular among seniors.

Resistance band workouts for seniors include:

  • Leg press
  • Triceps press
  • Lateral raise
  • Bicep curl
  • Band pull apart


Pilates are low-impact exercises that focus on your breathing, alignment, concentration and core strength. These exercises usually involves mats, pilates balls, and other inflated accessories to help build strength.

Some great pilates exercises for seniors include:

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

Dumbell Strength Training

Include strength training in your fitness program to lessen symptoms of diabetes, osteoporosis, back pain, and depression. It also increases your metabolism to help manage your weight. Dumbells allow you to isolate muscle groups to improve your balance and flexibility.

Some ideal dumbbell workouts for seniors include:

  • Bent-over row
  • Tricep extension
  • Bicep curl
  • Overhead press
  • Front raise

Body Weight Workouts

Body weight workouts will help to prevent muscle loss which can lead to hormone problems, a decrease in the ability to metabolize protein, and other problems. Most body weight workouts require workout clothes and a mat to soften impact with the floor.

Some great body weight workouts for seniors include:

  • Squats to chair
  • Stepup
  • Bird dog
  • Lying hip bridges
  • Side lying circles

Exercises To Avoid

Some exercises put an unhealthy strain on older adults with joint pain, atrophied muscles, posture problems or issues with balance.

The following exercises should be avoided if you’re over the age of 65:

  • Squats with dumbbells or weights
  • Bench press
  • Leg press
  • Long-distance running
  • Abdominal crunches
  • High-intensity interval training
  • Rock climbing

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