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Senior man and woman exercising in a gym.

11 Healthy Exercises Designed Just for Seniors

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No matter your age, exercising is important for your health. But for aging seniors, there are certain areas to focus on, including aerobic, balance, and strength. Brightwater Senior Living encourages seniors to maintain an exercise routine. In that spirit, here are a few workouts to jump-start your regimen.

Why Exercise?

For seniors, exercise is critical to maintaining health in so many ways. At its most basic level, it keeps your body moving, improves your mood, and can help ward off things like the basic cold. Taken a step further, regular exercise is said to help stave off chronic illnesses such as diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, and dementia-related diseases. The Mayo Clinic and Harvard Health suggest that 30 minutes of exercise a few times a week can improve memory and reasoning and possibly delay the start of Alzheimer’s for those at risk of developing it.

Types of Exercise for Seniors

At Johns Hopkins Medicine, three types of exercise are suggested for seniors – aerobic, strength training, and stretching/flexibility/balance. Aerobic activity can help reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Strength or resistance training is helpful for those carrying extra fat and can assist with creating leaner muscle mass. Research has shown that these two types of exercise done in combination may reduce your bad cholesterol and increase the good cholesterol – ultimately improving your heart health. Stretching exercises keep your body flexible and allow you to maintain your aerobic and strength training. And don’t forget balance. It is a critical component for seniors, allowing them to keep an exercise regimen going.

Aerobic, Strength & Flexibility/Balance Exercises for Seniors

  1. Aerobic: Walking
    The benefit of walking is it can be done inside as well as outside. If your mobility is limited, you can find a space in your home that is large enough to walk in. Make sure to remove throw rugs and other objects beforehand. Try 30 minutes a day three days per week to start, working up to five days.
     
  2. Strength (Resistance Training)
    From grip exercises to incline push-ups to bicep curls with resistance bands, this video shows you six different upper body exercises to increase your strength. Most of these can also be done sitting if standing causes difficulty.
     
  3. Balance: Toe Tap, Knee Bends with Heel Raises, Toes Up, Arabesque
    These exercises help improve your balance and increase strength at the same time. The Toe Tap can be done seated as well, but be sure to hold onto the chair and use your core to support yourself.
     

For more information on healthy opportunities for seniors, be sure to check out our Brightwater Senior Living blog.