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8 Must Do Exercises For Seniors To Stay Active And Healthy

Updated: Mar 1

Learn 8 strength exercises that will help anyone 60 plus stay active and healthy in the comfort of their own homes. In this post I will demonstrate 8 exercises that can help improve the functional abilities in active aging adults and also discuss the benefits of strength training. Strength training has SO MANY health benefits and our physical activity level has a direct correlation to our quality life and longevity.

There are many ways to stay active as we age and resistance training is one of the most important. Muscle mass and strength gains are two of the primary benefits of strength training but there are a whole host of other positive benefits. Without strength training we experience a decline in muscle mass as we age and because of this, our functional independence is affected.

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Resistance training helps our aging population maintain and regain the ability to perform day to day activities, including daily tasks such as carrying groceries, climbing stairs, and getting in and out of vehicles or chairs.

Fall risks increase as we begin to lose our sense of balance and no longer have the muscle strength to catch or prevent a fall. With resistance training we can begin to prevent fall risks while also improving our bone density, joint health, and cognitive function.

Following a routine resistance training program has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, improve balance and stability, reduce anxiety, reduce depression, and decrease the risk of certain types of cancer.

Before starting any workout program begin with a warm up, wear appropriate activewear, and stay hydrated before, during, and after the workout. Your warm up should do just that, get your body warm. Dynamic stretches and mobility exercises are highly recommended prior to starting your resistance training workout to prime your body and to help prevent injury.

Visit this link to learn more about our Senior Exercise Plan. Our low impact senior workout plan incorporates the best full body at home workouts for seniors.

Must Do Exercise #1 - Box Squat- Pistol Squat Progression (for seniors to stay active & healthy)

The box squat is a fantastic exercise to emulate everyday functional movements like getting up from a chair or out of a car. To make this exercise more difficult, you can progress to performing the box squat with a single leg (pistol squat) with the opposite heel planted on the floor.

*Note: Hold your core engagement throughout.

Must Do Exercise For Seniors #2 - Hip Hike

The hip hike is an easy and effective exercise for building lower back stability and strength. It will activate the Quadratus Lumborum and the Gluteus Medius, two of the main muscles needed for lower back health.

*Note: You can do this by standing on a flat surface and then progress to a small step or a stair.

Must Do Exercise #3 - Dead Bugs- Heel Tap

The dead bug is one of the best strengthening exercises for your core. It is very versatile with several variations to progress with and will help build foundational core strength that can elevate lower back pain.

*Note: Hold core engagement througout, keep your lowerback firmly pressing into the floor.

Must Do Exercise #4 - Hip Bridge- Single Leg Progression

The hip bridge is a great exercise to strengthen the posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes, & lower back) while also helping to reduce lower back pain. The single leg progression will help to further develop better balance and core strength.

*Note: Maintain a flat back throughout.

Must Do Exercise #5 - Side Plank- Leg Lift Progression

The side plank will help strengthen your core without putting stress onto your lower back. It also helps build a more stable core while strengthening your glutes, hips, and shoulders.

By strengthening our muscles we can help to alleviate pain and discomfort with conditions like arthritis, chronic low back pain, and joint pain. Seniors can also improve their posture by strengthening the muscles that support the spine.

Must Do Exercise #6 - Wood Chopper

The wood chopper is a great functional exercise because it builds core strength for transverse plane movements. We tend to exercise in straight lines which doesn't always translate to everyday life. This exercise will help you build rotational strength to lift and twist while also improving your balance and posture.

Must Do Exercise #7 - Push Ups- from a chair or wall

The push up is one of the best bodyweight exercises for upper body strength and can be done anywhere. Push ups can be done from your knees or with your hands on a wall.

*Note: When doing push ups with your hands on the wall, play around with the distance of your feet until you find a challenging but comfortable amount of body weight to press.

Must Do Exercise #8 - Seated Row with Shoulder Retraction

In this seated row variation we are going to first focus on retracing the Scapula. By doing this we are are improving our shoulder positioning before starting the row and also helping to build strength, increase scapula range of motion, support the shoulders during the row, and to help reduce chronic pain in the upper back.

The must do exercises for seniors to stay active & healthy shown in this blog are meant to provide general advice for senior health and wellness. Every individual's needs are unique. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting any new workout program, especially if you have any health conditions or injuries. Start slow, take breaks, and listen to your body.

These gentle exercises are low-impact for seniors to follow along at home with just bodyweight and resistance bands. Stretching and mobility exercises should also be incorporated into any senior fitness program. Modifications can be made for each exercise by our active aging personal trainer. Balance and stability exercises should also be incorporated into fitness routines for seniors.

For a full workout routine designed for seniors to do at home check out this link.

Personal Training That Empowers You!

Desire Fitness offers custom online workout programs and personal training that is designed for each individual client and their health and wellness goals. Contact us to learn how the exercises shown above can be adapted to meet each individual's fitness needs, health conditions, and abilities.

In person personal training is available in Canmore and Banff, Alberta by our fully certified Active Aging Personal Trainer. Virtual training sessions can be done in the comfort of your own home through Zoom or FaceTime. Private and semi-private personal training sessions are 1 hour in length. Online personal training programs are also available and are very easy to follow.

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Over the last decade Desire Fitness has coached 100's of clients to achieve their health and wellness goals. We strive to empower clients and boost their confidence through strength training.

Learn more about our custom wellness programs and get started on your fitness journey today.

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