9 Easy Exercises for Seniors

9 Easy Exercises for Seniors

Posted 2016-03-23 by boisefollow

For some seniors it can be more difficult to maintain or start an active lifestyle. Fortunately, there are plenty of easy exercises that offer health benefits. Exercising regularly is extremely important for people of any age, but for seniors exercising is a great way to fight off common health issues associated with age such as osteoporosis, heart disease, joint pain, or arthritis, among others. Being a senior doesn’t mean you can’t run marathons or do heavy weight lifting, but for some people they need exercises that are a little easier on the joints and low in intensity.


Swimming is an excellent activity for the body and doesn’t cause a lot of pressure on the joints which makes it a great exercise for seniors. One major concern for some who are having issues exercising is the impact that exercising can have on joints that tend to become stiff over time. Osteoarthritis, a degenerative arthritis, is estimated to affect more than 27 million people in the United States alone. As we age the protein makeup of cartilage degenerates over time causing joint pain and swelling that can affect the ability to do many high impact activities. This is why swimming is a great alternative. Some easy exercises are:
• Water aerobics classes – Many focus on classes and routines for seniors
• Freestyle swimming laps
• Water relaxation classes


A great way to help enforce exercise is to incorporate it in an activity you already like to do or one you can use as a hobby or social opportunity. Golfing is a great exercise for the body in that it combines cardio, strength training, and balance. Ditching the golf cart, or just using it between 1/3 of the holes, is a great cardio workout. Swinging the club, walking up inclines, or carrying your clubs is a strength training workout. Learning the appropriate technique can help set your equilibrium and improve your balance, which will aid in other exercises as well as helping to prevent falls - one of the main causes of injury in the elderly. Overall, the hardest part about using golf as an easy exercise will be paying the club fees.


Increasing the range of movement in your joints helps to enhance your muscular coordination and improves circulation. This is an extremely easy exercise to do at home without an instructor, without weights or bands, and in your own time. Build some easy stretches into your routine by stretching for 10 minutes when you wake up, before bed, or even during commercials.


Don’t underestimate the power of walking. This is a great cardio workout and isn’t too bad on the joints. The key to easy exercise is just to keep moving and not overexerting yourself so walking is a nice, relaxing way to do that. Don’t feel pressured to walk at a faster pace if it is uncomfortable, but don’t feel limited to walking either. Taking the dog or grandkids on a walk is a great way to incorporate walking time with family time. Or just put in your headphones and take a walk as some time to yourself.

Hand Weights

Using heavy weights can be difficult for those who aren’t used to doing strength exercises or those with weaker muscle control or balance. Hand weights, however, come in a variety of different weights and can be used in many different ways. Walking with weights, bicep curls, and lateral raises are all simple hand weight exercises to help get your heartrate up without pushing yourself too far. To make this exercise even easier, you can use household objects for your hand weights instead of buying:

•Can of soup – Weighs approximately 1 pound each
•Quart of milk – Weighs approximately 2 pounds each
•Gallon of water – Weighs approximately 8 pounds each


Along with golfing, gardening is another great hobby that doubles as an easy exercise. For those that already possess a green thumb, or would like to have one, you have a leg up in the easy exercise game already. Digging, raking, weeding, mulching, hoeing, sowing, harvesting, watering, mixing growing medium, and planting transplants all cause elevated heart rate, calories burned, and oxygen consumption. Also, you have the opportunity to grow healthy foods while doing it.


Yoga is as much a mental benefit as it is a physical one. Taking time for yourself and enjoying yoga can help relieve stress, keep you centered, and energized. Yoga is a great low-impact exercise option that won’t be as hard on your joints. Don’t be intimidated by joining a yoga class without any experience. Yoga instructors are great about understanding the varying abilities of those in the class and offers alternative poses for more advanced poses. Also, you can look for beginner yoga classes or buy a yoga mat and a DVD and try it at home.


At many health clubs they offer exercise classes created specifically for senior health. The options include dance classes, yoga classes, swimming classes, cardio circuit classes, and many more. These classes are created specifically to be low-impact, offer balance, go at a slower pace, involve lighter weights, and are created for beginners.

Isometric Exercise

Isometric exercises are great and easy to help promote joint health. They don’t require any additional help from weights or bands, but they can be high impact for weak joints or muscles so don’t be afraid to modify isometric exercises for your comfortability. Some common isometric exercises include planking, push-ups, or shoulder raises. These exercises can also be done at home in a small time frame. One of the main reasons why seniors fall is due to lack of exercise causing less flexibility and muscle tone, so make sure you incorporate exercise into your lifestyle in order to prevent this in the future.

For all of these easy exercises be sure to pay attention to your body and be realistic about your expectations of it. It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and that means something different to everyone. For those that have physical limitations linked to age, working out and maintaining health is still possible with these easy exercises best for being a senior.


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