Fitness, Health

The Best Exercises for Seniors & the Ones to Avoid

Contrary to the common belief that exercises are only excellent for physical health, exercise is also good for mental, emotional, and social health. That should give you four big reasons to engage yourself in some exercise routines.

Exercise is beyond getting those big muscles. For older adults, this may not be the topmost concern. Maintaining muscle strength, enhancement of quality sleep, combating depression, and getting reconnected with the community can be more appropriate exercise goals for seniors. There can be a lot more that regular exercise can do to a senior. With the right exercise, the aging process can be delayed.

These benefits of regular exercise should discourage a senior to choose a sedentary life. When you are idle and not physically active, you will have more chances of getting all those ailments that usually befell older adults. Avoid having a sedentary life as it may mean a lonely life. There are still so many things that life can give even if you are already in your twilight years. Make the most of it. Be happy. Exercise!

Here are some of the best exercises for seniors. While letting you know these exercises, we also list down the exercises that are harmful to seniors like you.

Exercises That Seniors Should Do Regularly:

Water Aerobics

Enjoy fun and exercise altogether with water aerobics. Everybody wants to go to a swimming pool especially during summer. Take advantage while you are there learning how to do aqua jogging, flutter kicking, leg lifts, and standing water push-ups. By doing these water exercises, you will be able to gain muscle strength, flexibility, and balance.

So what makes water aerobics an effective exercise regimen? It is the water-resistance. You may not know it but you are exerting more when you are doing exercises underwater.


Unlike water aerobics, you can do walking anywhere you are and anytime. This can be the cheapest form of exercise as you do not need any modality and you do not have to go somewhere else. You can do walking exercise while you are in your home. If you are stronger enough, you can accelerate your speed, climb the stairs and increase the frequency. As much as possible, try to reach 10,000 steps in a day. Walking can decrease the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even cancer.

Chair Yoga

With only a chair, you can do various exercises that will benefit your body. You can do overhead stretch, cat stretch, cow stretch, mountain pose, and twists while in the seated potion. These exercises are safe and free from the risks of getting injuries. Chair yoga may be best when done with a group. It can improve mental health as it can promote quality of sleep and lower possibilities of depression.

Dumbbell Training

Dumbbells are also for seniors like you. Choose the dumbbells that are lighter at first and you can increase the weight when you get more muscle strength. What’s good with dumbbells is that an immobile senior can also do it. You can do it in the seating or standing position. You can also do other leg exercises while having dumbbells clasped in your hands. It is a versatile exercise that can improve strength, coordination, and balance. It decreases the loss of muscle mass and promotes sleep. When doing dumbbell exercises, it is best that you are under the supervision of a trainer.

Exercises That Seniors Should Avoid:

Squats With Dumbbells or Weights

Squats can give enormous stress on your lower extremities. It can cause muscle tear. With weights on your hand, the probability of injury increases. Your hips, knees, and ankle can also be predisposed to dislocation.

Bench Press

This exercise should only be done by those who have been in the gym for a long time. Your arm may give way to the weight and it can give you injuries to your ribs, abdomen, or face. You can also suffer from dislocation or fracture on your upper extremities. And worst, you can have spine fractures also.

Long-Distance Running

Leave this exercise to the younger ones who still have the stamina and endurance to do it. This exercise may predispose you to a lot of medical conditions. Instead of gaining the benefits of exercise, it may impact your well-being negatively instead.

Rock Climbing

This should be treated as an extreme sport if you are already a senior. You are endangering yourself with this strenuous activity. Even if you are using safety gears, this activity is not just right for you.

To get the full benefit of exercise, you should know what is best for you. Getting clearance from your doctor should be the first thing to do. Never overdo your exercises as it may also have adverse effects. You should always be cautious when to stop, rest, and call for medical attention.