If you’re an older adult and finding it hard to stay physically active—don’t quit. There are plenty of easy exercises for seniors that you can do. You just have to find a fitness program that works for you.
It’s extremely important to keep exercising as an older adult. The benefits include:
- Reduced swelling in joints
- Increased joint mobility and strength
- Improved balance and stability
- Increased range of motion
- Reduced chances of having a fall
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Lower blood pressure and cholesterol
- Improved digestion
- Sounder sleep
The good news is you don’t need to go to the gym for strength training or impact exercises for elderly people. Just doing some easy exercises for seniors will provide benefit. And since September is “National Yoga Awareness Month” here are some poses you can try.
Easy Exercises for Seniors: Tree Pose
The tree pose is considered one of the easy exercises for seniors because you don’t have to move. Essentially, you stand in one place. It’s a balance exercise, which helps prevent falls.
- Stand with your feet together and your arms straight over your head, palms together
- Raise your right leg slightly off the ground so that the toes are still on the ground and your heel is touching the inside part of your ankle
- Balance for 20 to 30 seconds if possible
- Repeat with the other leg
- Hold onto something if necessary
Easy Exercises for Seniors: Warrior II Pose
The Warrior II pose makes our list of easy exercises for seniors because, again, you don’t have to move, and this time you get to keep both feet on the floor.
Standing poses can improve your lower body strength and your bone density.
- Begin with your feet hip-distance apart and your arms straight at your side
- Turn to the right, and step your right foot out wide about 3 to 4 feet while keeping your heels in line
- Turn your right foot out to a 90-degree angle
- Inhale and raise your arms straight to the sides to shoulder height
- As you exhale, bend the right leg until your thigh is parallel with the floor
- Your left leg should be straight
- Hold pose for up to 30 seconds while concentrating on your breath
Easy Exercises for Seniors: Bridge Pose
Bridge pose is good for your hips and strengthens your lower back. It’s one of the easy exercises for seniors because you start by laying on your back.
- Begin lying on your back with your feet flat on the floor, hip-distance apart directly under your knees
- Arms should be straight at your side
- Breathe in as you press your hands into the floor
- Exhale and tighten your abdominal muscles as you tilt your pelvis—and then your spine—off the ground until you are in a bridge position
- Hold for 30 seconds, and then slowly lower your spine starting from the shoulders until your back is flat on the floor
- If needed, put a folded blanket or towel under your shoulders for support
These are three simple, easy exercises for seniors that you can start today. Just talk to your doctor first, so you can discuss which poses work best for you. You may also want to talk to a physical therapist.
Other Easy Exercises for Seniors
If you don’t like yoga, there are some additional easy exercises for seniors you may want to try. The National Council on Aging recommends things like:
- Tai Chi- You’ll practice slow, low-impact body movements for increased balance, strength and flexibility.
- Stepping On- This program focuses on strength exercises.
- A Matter of Balance- An eight-session class where you’ll practice seated exercises and also do some chair exercises.
The updated physical activity guidelines for Americans state any movement that gets your heart rate up, even just a little bit, is beneficial. And as you can see, there are a lot of easy exercises for seniors out there. A conversation with your doctor may uncover even more.
For more information on the updated physical activity guidelines for Americans, check out our guide “Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.” Inside you’ll find more ways to ease yourself into an exercise routine and how hard you should be working out to see results.