Seniors need both simple exercises and activities that can raise their heart rate, according to the National Institute on Aging. There are four types of exercises recommended for seniors, including flexibility, balance, strength and endurance.
Completing each of the four exercises increases the overall health benefits for an older person. Brisk walking or jogging, dancing, bike riding and swimming are examples of endurance-type exercises. These activities increase breathing and heart rate, which helps keep the heart, lungs and blood vessels healthy. Strength exercises such as weightlifting focus on the muscles, making them stronger. Using a resistance band can also increase strength.
Balance exercises such as tai chi are used to help prevent falls -- a main health concern for older people. Activities that strengthen leg and hip muscles, as well as the lower back, also improve balance. Seniors should learn balance exercises from a doctor before beginning this type of regimen. Exercises that stretch the muscles help the body stay flexible. Yoga classes are recommended, as are learning stretches that can be done at home. Becoming more flexible can also speed recovery time from an injury.
Exercise is beneficial at any age, as it improves mood and helps to maintain cognitive functioning in older people. Exercise can prevent or treat a number of diseases, including heart disease and diabetes, and helps seniors maintain a healthy, independent lifestyle as they age.