An active lifestyle is an integral part of your health — no matter how old you are. Some people think you should slow down or even stop exercising altogether because you’re an older adult. That’s simply not true.
As you get older, you shouldn’t stop exercising. You just need to change the way you exercise.
There are plenty of ways for you to stay active in your later years. Keep reading to see the best daily workout routines designed for senior citizens.
Exercise Is Essential for Senior Citizens
Let’s dispel the myth that senior citizens should stop exercising because they’ll end up hurting themselves.
While it’s true that changes need to happen in the way you exercise as you age, there’s no reason to stop completely. In fact, staying active is essential to keeping senior citizens healthy and mobile.
Exercise helps prevent muscle atrophy and improves strength, balance, and flexibility.
It’s also an essential part of supporting the immune system to prevent physical illnesses. Plus, staying active plays a significant role in mental health by releasing endorphins, boosting self-esteem, and helping you sleep better at night.
There’s no disputing the benefits of an active lifestyle; you just need to know the best way to keep it up!
The Best Kinds of Workouts for Senior Citizens
According to the CDC, older adults should be getting at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week.
This can be a combination of any kind of exercises. As long as you’re up and moving, that’s what matters. But there are some kinds of workouts that are better for senior citizens than others.
As an older adult, you should focus on your strength, balance, and flexibility.
Bodyweight exercises and strength training are fantastic for battling against muscle atrophy. They also help your muscles stay strong enough to keep you up and moving in your later years.
Aerobic exercises like water aerobics, walking, or jogging are vital in making sure your sense of balance sticks around.
As far as flexibility goes, you have a range of options. Anything from simple everyday stretches to full yoga sessions catered to seniors can help you stay flexible. (Which is a big deal when it comes to getting up and getting moving.)
Let’s take a look at some workouts made with these needs in mind.
1. Bodyweight Exercises
Bodyweight exercises are an excellent daily choice for senior citizens because they’re easy. They only require your body for weight and usually don’t ask you to have any other equipment lying around.
Really, the only things you’ll need are a yoga mat and some workout clothes if you want them.
Give these bodyweight workouts a try:
- The No Gym Routine for Seniors
- Best Bodyweight Exercises for Older Adults
- 12 Best Equipment-Free Strength Exercises for Older Adults
2. Staying Strong
Strength training doesn’t mean you’re working toward bodybuilder-level muscles. It simply means you’re keeping your muscles strong enough to keep them healthy.
There are a lot of amazing benefits of strength training for senior citizens:
- It can ease the symptoms of diabetes, osteoporosis, back pain, and depression
- It helps you manage your weight
- It contributes to a higher metabolism and enhanced glucose control
Using dumbbells is a great way for older adults to strength train because they come in low, manageable weights.
Here are a few strength training workouts for you to try:
- Total Body Strength Workout for Seniors
- Strength Training for Seniors: Everything You Need to Know
- Growing Stronger: Strength Training for Older Adults
3. Exercises for Balance
Your sense of balance is one thing that takes a hit as you grow older. It’s essential to work on your balance as you age to keep you moving around and help prevent falls that could cause damage.
There are plenty of workouts to help you keep your balance.
Here are a few for you to incorporate into your day:
- 14 Exercises for Seniors to Improve Strength and Balance
- Balance Exercises for Seniors: Improve Your Stability
- 11 Balance Exercises for Seniors
4. Keeping Flexible
You may not think flexibility is so necessary for older adults.
Who needs to be able to touch their toes at that age?
We aren’t talking about making you into a contortionist. This sort of flexibility is just enough to keep your joints and muscles working to the best of their ability.
Greater flexibility not only leads to greater mobility but also makes everyday tasks easier to achieve.
Here are a few flexibility workouts for you to try out:
- Stretching Exercises for Seniors: 7 Simple Moves to Start
- 10 Stretching Exercises Seniors Can Do Every Day
- Total Body Stretch for Seniors
5. Taking Daily Walks
If you’re looking for the best of the best, walking is an all-around fantastic exercise for seniors to work into their daily routine.
It helps strengthen muscles and keep weight down. It’s great for improving balance and flexibility. Walking can even put you in a better mood, boost your energy, reduce blood pressure, and lower your risk of heart disease.
Try these ways to get your steps in every single day:
- Take a walk in the park or out in nature.
- Walk around a familiar building.
- Find a race that allows walking and train for it.
- Listen to music or an audiobook while you walk.
Finding time every day to get up and get moving should be a priority for everyone, no matter their age. Regular exercise is essential for making sure you can continue getting up and going well into your later years.
These five daily workouts are perfect for keeping senior citizens moving.
Even 15 or 20 minutes of exercise here and there is enough to prevent a sedentary lifestyle from setting in. It’s incredible the difference it makes!
Leon Grundstein has more than 28 years of experience in real estate development, with over two decades of experience in the retirement industry. He founded Lynnwood Scriber Gardens with a game changing business model to promote a healthy and robust retirement lifestyle for older adults.