What are the Best Exercises for Seniors?

N. Madison
N. Madison

Exercising is good for the body as people age, helping to ensure good overall health, strength, and flexibility. Among the best types of exercises for seniors are those that build strength and stability. They help build muscle, boost the metabolism, and prevent falls that can be dangerous for senior citizens. Stretching and endurance workouts are also healthy exercises for seniors, helping older people maintain mobility, flexibility, and stamina.

It's important for seniors to have good balance, as this may help prevent falls.
It's important for seniors to have good balance, as this may help prevent falls.

Strength workouts are among the best exercises for seniors. They help to not only build muscle and strength, but also to make the bones stronger. These exercises can also boost a senior citizen’s metabolism, which can be important for the maintenance of healthy blood sugar levels and normal weight. Strength exercises can even help slow the muscle loss that is a common part of aging. A senior citizen who isn’t used to exercise may start out performing strength exercises without weight and then add weights as he gains strength.

Some seniors enjoy yoga.
Some seniors enjoy yoga.

Balance exercises are good for senior citizens as well because they build muscles in the legs and strength in the lower body. They can help a senior citizen have better stability, translating into lowered risk of serious falls. It is very important for senior citizens to avoid falls, as such accidents can be debilitating as a person grows older.

In addition to physical activity, it's important that older adults keep their minds sharp by doing crossword puzzles and other "brain games."
In addition to physical activity, it's important that older adults keep their minds sharp by doing crossword puzzles and other "brain games."

Stretches are also important exercises for seniors. They help improve flexibility, making it easier for an older person to remain physically active and move around without stiffness and pain. Additionally, stretching exercises help senior citizens avoid muscle-related injuries, which can occur in the course of exercising as well as during daily living.

Walking can be a good exercise for seniors.
Walking can be a good exercise for seniors.

No list of the best exercises for senior citizens is complete without endurance exercises. These exercises help a senior citizen build stamina and boost metabolism. They also help to keep the heart and circulatory system healthy.

Regular exercise can mean the difference between staying healthy and independent and a severely decreased quality of life during the golden years. Not only can it help ensure that seniors can get around and continue to do the things they enjoy, but it also helps to prevent serious health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes. It may even help make a person less vulnerable to pain from arthritic conditions and depression.

Though exercise is good for senior citizens, it is smart for seniors to speak with their doctors before starting any new exercise program. A doctor may suggest specific exercises or make recommendations regarding exercise frequency. In some cases, he may also recommend avoiding certain exercises altogether.

While intense exercise is not always recommended for the elderly, exercises that improve flexibility, balance, strength and cardiovascular health usually are.
While intense exercise is not always recommended for the elderly, exercises that improve flexibility, balance, strength and cardiovascular health usually are.
N. Madison
N. Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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Discussion Comments

Ivan83

What sort of equipment can trainers use to do flexibility exercises with seniors? I just got a contract to teach some senior fitness classes but I am not quite sure how to prepare.

jonrss

My mom just recently moved back in with us. I have been encouraging her to start exercising but she is stubborn about it.

Can anyone recommend some good chair exercises that she could do? I think she is afraid she will hurt herself if she tries anything strenuous, but chair exercises are pretty safe and low impact, right?

Belted

In general it is best for seniors to consult with a trainer before they begin any exercise routine rather than to try and improvise one of their own. They will see better results and they will exercise safely if their routine has been designed to accommodate their limitations.

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