Staying active is essential, no matter what your age is. Current guidelines recommend that seniors (ages 65 and older) who are generally fit get at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week.
If you reach 150 minutes of activity and still feel great, keep going! Today’s seniors are encouraged to get as much exercise as possible, as long as they can do so safely.
Benefits of Exercise for Seniors
We all know that regular exercise can help us reach or maintain a healthy weight. However, there are other reasons to exercise besides the number on the scale. For example, balance exercises can help your mind stay sharp by improving your memory and cognition skills. Strength exercises help seniors have stronger bones and improved muscle coordination.
Along with keeping your mind and body in good shape, regularly exercising can help you stay independent and have more energy. Seniors who frequently exercise are less likely to need to depend on others for help around the house. They’re also more likely to avoid developing harmful diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, or depression. Exercising with friends can help seniors improve their mental and social health.
If you have been diagnosed with a disease, you can still find some relief with gentle exercises. Staying active can ease painful symptoms and prevent new issues from developing.
Best Exercises for Seniors
Exercises that focus on strengthening, stretching, and balancing will help your body stay fit and keep your mind strong as you age. Consult with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns before you begin a fitness program.
Strength exercises for seniors
Strength exercises can keep your bones healthy and strong, preventing diseases like osteoporosis. Strength exercises also improve muscle mass and can help you remain independent as you age.
Try these exercises from the comfort of your home; no weights required.
Stand an arm’s length away from an empty wall. Lean forward slightly, placing your palms on the wall at shoulder height. Plant your feet and bring your body to the wall slowly. Then, push the wall away from you until your arms are straight again.
Stand in front of a counter or chair that you can hold onto for support. Stand up straight and lift your calves off the floor, holding onto the chair as needed for balance. Slowly lower to the floor.
Back leg raises
Stand behind a chair and lift your right leg straight back without bending your knee. Hold for one second, then bring your leg down and repeat on the other side.
Stretches for seniors
Stretching improves your posture and allows for greater joint mobility. It also eases muscle tension and soreness, reducing the chances of injury.
Here are a few gentle stretches to try.
Slowly bring your chin to your chest. Then, turn your head side to side, holding each position for 15 seconds.
Sit in a chair and slowly move your foot up, down, then side to side. Hold each position for 30 seconds before repeating on the other side.
Stand in front of a chair, holding onto it gently for balance. Step one foot back and bend your right knee forward until you feel a stretch in the back leg’s calf. You can also use the StrongTek adjustable calf stretcher.
Balance exercises for seniors
Balance exercises can reduce your risk of falling. Incorporate these balance exercises into your fitness routine to improve your overall health and wellness.
Standing on one foot
Stand straight with a chair in front of you for support. Slowly lift one leg off the ground and hold for as long as you can, working up to holding for up to one minute on each leg. Repeat on the other side.
A balance board can help you get stronger and improve your balance safely in just a few minutes a day. StrongTek’s wooden balance board is anti-slip and safe for seniors to use.
March in place
Stand in front of a chair for balance. Now, lift one knee as high as you can and hold it off the ground. Then, put it back and repeat with the other leg.
Get Stronger with StrongTek
No matter your level of fitness, it’s never too late to start exercising. As a senior, focus on strength, stretching, and balance exercises to stay strong, healthy, and independent. Visit our Fitness Academy to learn more.