3 Types of Exercises For Seniors

Posted on: 24 March 2020

As a senior, you may be intimidated by starting an exercise routine or going to the gym. Fortunately, there are several types of exercises for beginning seniors that have significant health and fitness benefits. Here are some gym-friendly exercises that are ideal for seniors.

1. Low-Impact Cardio

Some seniors are concerned about arthritis. If this applies to you, it does not mean you cannot lift weights, but you should begin your fitness journey with low-impact activities that elevate your heart rate. If possible, swimming should be your go-to cardio since it is the least impactful on your joints.

Walking is another low-impact form of cardio, depending on the surface you use. You want to start with a level, smooth surface, such as well-maintained sidewalks or a treadmill. As you build stamina and do not notice any joint discomfort in your lower body, you can add slight inclines to build stamina.

2. Body-Weight Exercises

You should include some form of resistance or weight training since building lean body mass helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis and fractures if you fall. The easiest way to start with resistance training is to use body-weight exercises and gradually build up to resistance bands or free weights. Many body-weight exercises can be done with assistance.

For example, squats are excellent for working the lower-body and can improve some joint pain by strengthening the muscles and soft tissues. You can use a chair for assistance and start by squatting and sitting down on the chair several times. As you gain strength, challenge yourself to squat down, but not touch the chair with your buttocks. Eventually, you may not need the chair at all or only use it to hold on to for balancing yourself.

3. Beginner Yoga

Consider registering for yoga classes at your local gym. Typically, beginner-friendly classes will have straps and blocks, which are used to help you achieve certain yoga positions. Some gyms may also have special yoga classes for seniors or other adults who can only perform activities while seated. Yoga is an excellent stress-reliever and some types of yoga include meditation.

For seniors, yoga is a good tool to improve balance, flexibility, and stamina. This may be important for some people who are noticing gait changes or other issues that make them a higher fall risk.

Hiring a personal trainer or joining a local gym can be a great way seniors can maintain good health. Not only is regular exercise good for the cardiovascular system, but it can also prevent or reduce some age-related physical declines.