What Are Some Recommended Types of Exercise for the Elderly?


Quick Answer

Some recommended exercise types for seniors include aerobic activities, such as walking or biking, strength exercises and balance exercises. In addition, flexibility exercises help seniors improve agility.

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Additional aerobic activities include jogging, tennis, swimming and dancing. Aerobic exercises burn calories and increase energy. Aerobic activity helps joints stay limber and helps keep blood and cholesterol levels in check. Participating in regular aerobic activity as a senior prevents pathologies including cardiovascular disease. Fitness experts recommend low-impact aerobic activity for seniors because it is gentle on joints and because it allows seniors to ease into a new fitness regimen.

Strength exercises keep muscles strong. Examples of strength-building activities include weightlifting or using a resistance band to engage muscles. Simple, household objects like chairs work for stabilization for simple strength-building activities like squats.

Light weights allow for bicep curls and any senior can use a wall for modified push-up exercises. Light weights raised above the arm improve arm and shoulder strength. Experts recommend that seniors weight train with all major muscle groups, including chest, stomach, legs and hips.

Health professionals recommend balance exercises for seniors because they help prevent falls. Balance exercises also include strength training because strong muscles work along with coordination to prevent falls. Recommended stability exercises include heel-to-toe walking and standing on one foot with outstretched arms.

Experts recommend that seniors stretch their muscles with flexibility exercises. Flexibility exercises improve range of motion. Recommended stretches include quadriceps stretches and a chest stretch performed by clasping the arms behind the back and leaning backwards. Experts recommend that seniors use a fitness regimen that contains components of all of these types of exercise. All four types of exercise used in combination yield greater benefits for seniors than any single type of exercise alone.

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