Safe exercises for senior citizens include aerobic activities such as tennis, swimming and brisk walking. Other activities include squats, arm raises, arm curls and push-ups, states Everyday Health. Aerobic activities should be moderate, doing squats without weights, arm curls with light weights and modified push-ups to lessen difficulty.
Moderate aerobic activities improve heart health, lower blood pressure, burn calories and increase energy levels, explains Everyday Health. Five-minute cardiovascular sessions performed a few days a week increase the heart rate. Seniors can build muscles by doing low-impact squatting exercises, such as squatting in front of a chair with arms outstretched. Exercisers can take a breather after each repetition and strive for 10 repetitions. Placing pillows on the chair or holding onto the sides of the chair lessens the intensity of the exercise, if necessary.
Seniors can develop upper-body strength by raising weights to shoulder height with palms facing forward and the feet flat on the floor, according to Everyday Health. For the most effectiveness, two sets of at least 10 repetitions of arm or side arm raises is a reasonable goal. To strengthen arm muscles, seniors can try holding weights at the sides with palms facing up and elbows tucked in, then lifting them toward the chest by bending the elbows. These arm curls can be done in sets of 10 with rest between each set. Modifying push-ups by facing a wall and bending the arms to bring the upper body toward the wall enables seniors to complete the exercise with minimal risk.