Working out at any age is never easy but working out as you get older can be especially difficult. The passage of time can affect our bodies in ways that force us to stop certain forms of exercise, but we identified a few exercises that almost any senior can do to stay fit. We think you’ll find an activity you enjoy on this list of some of the best exercises any senior can do.
Single leg stands-
This simple activity doesn’t require any equipment and can be done almost anywhere. Focusing on your balance, single leg stands are designed to increase stability and core strength.
1. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart.
2. Slowly raise one leg up so that your foot comes a few inches off the ground.
3. Repeat this movement until you’ve done it 15 times. (Make sure to go slow and take your time so you don’t fall.)
4. Repeat this exercise on the other leg an additional 15 times.
Chair leg raises
For this exercise, you will need a chair, and ideally one that allows you to sit up properly in a regular seated position.
1. Seat yourself with your feet resting flat on the floor, your back straight and your legs bent at 90-degree angles.
2. Slowly straighten your right leg until it’s parallel with the floor.
3. Slowly bend your right leg back into resting position.
4. Repeat steps two and three until you’ve done them 15 times.
5. Repeat steps two and three 15 times on the left leg.
Sit to stand
Just like the chair leg raises above, you will need to access to a sturdy chair. This should be a chair you feel comfortable getting in and out of. You can do this activity with the assistance of another person if necessary.
1. Seat yourself at the edge of the chair with your feet facing forward and your knees slightly apart.
2. Place your arms out in front of you at shoulder width and height apart.
3. Slowly lift yourself out of the chair to a standing position (resist the urge to use your hands to lift yourself up).
4. Once standing, lower yourself back into the chair while leaving your arms out in front of you.
5. Repeat steps three and four until you’ve done them 10 times.
Note: If you’re using another person to help you, hold your partner’s hands with your outstretched arms to make it easier to get up and down.
Gentle arm lifts
This simple arm workout helps you maintain upper body strength. For this exercise, you’ll hold some kind of weight in each hand. You can use traditional workout equipment such as dumbbells, or you can use everyday household items such as cans. You have the option to add more weight and increase the difficulty according to your needs.
1. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart to form a solid platform.
2. Raise your arms up on either side of your body, bending your elbows at a 90-degree angle so your hands are above your arms. (This will be your starting position.)
3. Press your arms up into the air, straightening your arms so your hands are directly above your head at shoulder width apart.
4. Slowly lower your arms back to the starting position.
5. Repeat steps three and four until you’ve done them five times.
6. Pause for one minute.
7. Perform five more repetitions of steps three and four.
These exercises are just a few of the many available to seniors of all ages to help retain muscle health, increase balance and stay healthy. We encourage you to speak with your doctor about any constraints you may have to adjust exercises to your specific needs.