Many seniors already have a solid workout routine, or things they do to try to stay active. While staying active can have some costs associated, there are some things you can do to stay active for little or no cost. If you do have a budget for fitness equipment, you want to select things that are efficient, enjoyable, and safe for seniors.
This will speak to some $0 cost exercise options that you could start doing with no investment. We would recommend speaking with your doctor before performing any and all activity, so be sure to get advice from the professionals that know your capability and your medical records.
This seems so typical to start, but when it comes to low impact exercise, walking is the most important exercise a senior can apply to their daily activity. Walking is how you get around, so if this becomes difficult for you, your entire life will change. Walking is #1 for a reason. If your doctor approves, do it, and do it often.
You don’t need iron “weights” to keep your muscles active, everything in your home has a “weight” associated to it. Anything with a handle can become a dumbbell or curling device. Shopping bags with handles, carrying a few books can give you just the right resistance to do some basic arm exercises. Again, speak with your doctor about what works best for you in your situation.
If you have a kitchen counter, you can safely do leg lifts, leaning back on your counters, you can brace yourself and lift your legs, one at a time, and keep circulation up before taking a walk. You can also perform a lighter leg lift while sitting on a chair. Speak with your doctor about what level of activity is right for you.
Fitness Equipment (for seniors)
Technology has given us some great options for senior-friendly exercise machines that are sure to get the heart pumping, increase flexibility, and overall improve physical endurance.
The elliptical allows seniors who are able to stand for long periods of time a chance to torch some calories, improve balance, and endurance. The elliptical is a hybrid between cross-country skiing and walking but without the additional impact. The included arm levers give seniors a security feature to hold on to while also adding an extra muscle burn.
The stability ball can help increase senior’s overall physical fitness in many ways.Core strength is crucial for standing, balancing, and posture. Simply sitting on a stability ball is a terrific activity to strengthen senior’s core muscles! Several other exercises can be done safely with the ball, including stretches to improve flexibility.
If a senior would like to add a bit more weight to challenge themselves while they are walking, they can do so by using wrist weights. These weights can either be attached to their wrists or held in their hands, if this is preferred. These weights are very light, such as 1-3 pounds, so they add enough weight to make things more challenging, but not too much so that it becomes stressful on their wrists.
Recumbent Exercise Bike
Cycling has been a source of healthy cardio workouts for people for centuries, and recumbent bikes are an ideal way to cycle in comfort. Seniors can easily get on and off of exercise bikes, as well as customize speed. As a low-impact activity, the risk of injury is slim and it’s great for seniors who suffer from a variety of joint or bone issues.
Yoga is a great activity for seniors. This series of low-impact exercises will have you on their feet, knees, or lying on the ground. You will need to invest in a Yoga mat to keep the comfort levels up. They can do double duty for any stretching exercises like pilates or yoga. These are great exercise options for seniors because they help to strengthen their core and improve their balance, thus helping them remain safer not only when they are exercising, but also when they are doing everyday activities.
If you are a senior looking to start exercising more, our Care Watch would provide peace of mind and give you added beneficial features like the ability to perform a vitals test before a run, and pedometer to track your distance. Call us now to learn more about the Care Watch: Call 1-800-716-1433