Best Exercises for Seniors

Exercise is a great addition to any lifestyle, particularly for older adults. It's vital for mind, body, and soul as we age, though it might feel intimidating after a break. Don't be discouraged! Explore senior-friendly exercises and consult your doctor for tailored recommendations before diving into a routine.


1. Water aerobics

With water aerobics being one of the most optimal forms of exercise for seniors, the momentum it has been gaining over the past years comes as no surprise. Water provides natural resistance without the need to lift heavy weights, eliminating stress and soreness on your joints – perfect for those living with arthritis and other forms of joint pain. Imagine no longer suffering from aching body parts! By exercising in water, you can improve your strength, flexibility, and balance without stimulating uncomfortable ailments. Nowadays, water aerobics classes are available to all ages but specially tailored for our seniors. Try water aerobics to enjoy an effective workout with much less effort or excessive strain on your body.

Water aerobics exercises for seniors:

  • Aqua jogging
  • Flutter kicking
  • Leg lifts
  • Standing water push-ups
  • Arm curls
Best exercises for seniors

2. Chair Yoga

Chair yoga is the ideal form of exercise for seniors looking to improve their overall health. These chair yoga exercises provide a low-impact way to increase muscle strength, mobility, balance, and flexibility while reducing stress on muscles, joints, and bones. Beyond just physical benefits, chair yoga can help enhance mental health as well. Regular chair yoga participants tend to experience improved quality of sleep and lower instances of depression; not to mention generally feeling better in general with a greater sense of well-being. With chair yoga’s various advantages, what’s not to love?

Chair yoga exercises for seniors:

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

3. Pilates

Pilates is an excellent exercise to keep seniors active and engaged. It’s a low-impact workout that has been around for centuries and is designed to help build strength without the stress of higher-impact exercises. During pilates, your breath, alignment, concentration, and core strength are all emphasized while using accessories like pilates balls and mats to make it easier on your joints. Doing pilates regularly can improve balance, build core strength and increase flexibility – all essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle for seniors. So whether you are just starting out or have been exercising for years – pilates is a great way to stay fit at any age.

Pilates exercises for seniors:

    • Mermaid movement
    • Side circles
    • Food slides
    • Step-ups
    • Leg circle
Best exercises for seniors

4. Walking

Walking presents a wonderful opportunity for seniors to reap the benefits of physical activity with minimal stress or pain. It is one of the most easily accessible forms of exercise and can still provide fantastic results. Different walking goals will obviously apply for seniors, with 10,000 steps per day being more flexible in that regard. 

A PLOS One study showed walking 10,000 steps reduced mortality risk by a whopping 46% over a ten-year period. Whether walking 200 or 10,000 steps in a day, the activity itself is incredibly beneficial in keeping bodies strong and healthy; it prevents muscle loss, heart disease, stroke – even colon cancer! All without causing disruption to anyone’s daily routine – walking is an excellent form of exercise for seniors as well as the general population.

Resistance band work out

5. Resistance band workouts

With resistance band workouts, you don’t have to spend a fortune on expensive gym memberships or equipment. This convenient form of exercise is perfect for seniors looking for exercises that require zero pounds of heavy weights and reduce stress on their bodies. Resistance bands are user-friendly, cheap, and can be done from the comfort of your home. Plus, resistance band workouts are specifically designed to strengthen their core as well as improve posture, mobility, and balance. A resistance band workout routine offers endless opportunities to stay fit with little effort.

Resistance band workouts for seniors:

    • Leg press
    • Triceps press
    • Lateral raise
    • Bicep curl
    • Band pull apart
dumbbell exercise for seniors

6. Dumbbell exercise

Strength training has been hailed for its numerous benefits for all ages, especially when it comes to seniors. If dumbbell exercises are performed with the necessary caution and proper form, they can significantly alleviate symptoms of diabetes, osteoporosis, back pain, and even depression, while promoting weight management and enhanced glucose control. At the same time, dumbbells promote mobility by strengthening muscle groups and enhancing balance and flexibility. For these reasons, dumbbell exercises are some of the best fitness choices for seniors who want to get fit and healthy today.

Dumbbell exercises for seniors:

  • Bent-over row
  • Tricep extension
  • Bicep curl
  • Overhead press
  • Front raise
Best exercise for seniors

7. Body weight exercise

For seniors, bodyweight exercise is an affordable and highly beneficial way of combating the ravages of muscle density loss. Not only are bodyweight exercises simple and convenient to do, but they also require nothing more than a few cozy workout clothes and a mat that cushions the body from the floor. With bodyweight exercises, seniors can improve their strength and mobility in order to prevent the resulting decrease in their energy levels, hormone problems, and protein metabolism. In short, bodyweight exercises can make all the difference for those seniors who are living with severe muscle loss.

Body weight exercises for seniors:

  • Squats to chair
  • Step-up
  • Bird dog
  • Lying hip bridges
  • Side-lying circles

Health Benefits of Exercise in Older Adults

    • Improves strength and flexibility
    • Helps prevent and counteract diseases
    • Improves brain function
    • Gain more energy

Talk with a doctor or healthcare professional to ensure that any physical activity is safe for your age, lifestyle, and fitness level.