a group of diverse seniors gathered together for a picture before a group workout

Exercise for Seniors

May 22, 2023

What are the Benefits of Exercise for Seniors?

Exercise is one of the most important things that we can all do to better our health and it becomes increasingly necessary as we age. Exercise helps us stay fit, strong, and healthy. For seniors, regular exercise can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, improve balance and coordination, reduce stress and depression, and even help to maintain a healthy weight.

According to the CDC in a Physical Activity and Health: A Report of the Surgeon General, “Older adults can obtain significant health benefits with a moderate amount of physical activity, preferably daily. A moderate amount of activity can be obtained in longer sessions of moderately intense activities (such as walking) or in shorter sessions of more vigorous activities (such as fast walking or stair walking).”

Additional benefits, highlighted from the same article, include:

  • Maintaining the ability to live independently
  • Reduced risk of falls and fractures
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Reduced anxiety symptoms
  • Reduced depression

senior man doing exercises in a swimming pool

Perfect Exercises for Seniors

While exercise is important for everyone, it is especially important for our aging loved ones. As we age, our bodies become more prone to injury and illness, so it’s important to stay active and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Low impact exercises that are easy on the joints are ideal for seniors because they provide the benefits of exercise without putting too much strain on the body.

Strength training is also beneficial because it helps build muscle mass and improve balance.

Aerobic type exercises that get the blood pumping and flowing such as walking, swimming are great for the heart.

Other popular low impact exercises for seniors that build strength are yoga and Tai Chi.

seniors exercising in a room on exercise balls

Create a Safe and Effective Exercise Routine as you age

It’s important to create an exercise routine that is safe and effective for seniors. There are several things you’ll want to keep in mind.

First and foremost, be sure to have guidance from their primary care provider. Not every exercise is the right fit for your aging loved one and their doctor can be extremely helpful in providing guidance on what exercises are best to try based on their physical condition.

Making sure your aging loved one has a safe space to work out is also imperative. The last thing we want is for your senior to be exercising and suffer an injury because the workout space is cluttered or is impeded with potentially hazardous obstructions.

Making a clear and safe area suitable for their workout is going to be important, especially if working out at home. When working out at a facility or with a community, often these factors are taken care of. But making sure the environment is conducive to a good workout will help keep them safe.

senior woman happy with arms outstretched and looking at the sky while at the beach

Tips on Staying Motivated

Let’s face it, for any one of us it can be difficult to stay motivated to exercise. It seems to be especially true as we age. Fortunately, there are several tips and tricks that seniors can use to help them stay motivated and active. From creating a schedule to joining a support group, there are many ways that seniors can keep themselves on track with their fitness goals.

According to the NIH National Institute on Aging, in an article titled Staying Motivated to Exercise: Tips for Older Adults, there are four tips to help stay motivated. To paraphrase, they are:

    • Make fun and enjoyable
    • Fit exercise into your schedule
    • Make it a social activity
    • Track your progress

The article also goes on to discuss the importance of having a reward when goals are met. They can be simple for smaller milestones and more elaborate rewards for major accomplishments.

senior man lifting dumbbells in a supportive workout environment

Support and Resources for Exercising as a Senior

It can be difficult to find the right support and resources when exercising as a senior. Fortunately, there are now a variety of support groups, online resources, and other tools available to help seniors stay fit and healthy. From exercise classes specifically designed for seniors to online communities offering advice on how to stay active, there are plenty of options for seniors who want to take control of their health.

Because of our relationship with local senior communities at Adore Mom, and with our vendor toolbox, we are also aware of several community exercise options available for seniors, and we won’t hesitate to help your aging loved one find the right solution.