Fitness > Best Exercise Guide for Seniors
1st Aug 2022
Daily Excercise for Seniors to Stay fit & Active

Best Exercise Guide for Seniors

Seniors should exercise regularly to preserve their health, avoid accidents, and reduce their chance of developing cardiac conditions. Having accessible workout routines will help you get started on the road to better health. Workouts that are both safe and rigorous for the seniors have been collated here by us.

It is recommended that an average senior of 65 years or older, who is in generally good health, should take up the following exercises under doctors’ advice. Even though this would seem like a bit initially, the great news is that you can split it up between 10 or 15-minute workout sessions twice or more daily. Here is an illustration of how a typical week can look, along with ideas for starter exercises:

20-minute walks20-minute walks30-minute cycling or swimming or some form of cardio.Rest30-minute walk30-minute cycling or swimming or some form of cardio.Rest
Strength ExercisesStrength ExercisesStrength Exercises
Balance exercisesBalance exercisesBalance exercisesBalance exercisesBalance exercisesBalance exercisesBalance exercises
Stretch exercisesStretch exercisesStretch exercisesStretch exercisesStretch exercisesStretch exercisesStretch exercises


You can perform dozens of workouts to increase your strength, balance, and flexibility without ever setting foot inside a gym. Here are some:

A. Beginner Exercises

1. Abdominal Twitches (contraction): For stronger abdominal muscles

  • Inhale deeply, and then contract your abdominal muscles.
  • Release the contraction after three breaths of holding.
  • Ten times in total.

2. Wall push-ups: For enhanced chest and shoulder strength

  • Standing with your legs shoulder-width apart, face the wall from a distance of roughly 3 feet.
  • As you slant forward, put your hands flat and parallel to your shoulders on the wall. Plank posture calls for a straight, uncurved spine that is neither drooping nor arched.
  • Push back after lowering your body towards the wall.
  • Ten times in total.

3. Pelvic tilts: For strengthening and stretching of lower back muscles.

  • Take deep breaths, squeeze your buttocks, and push your hips forward slightly.
  • Hold for three counts.
  • Arch your hips back for 3 seconds and hold. (It’s a minimal movement.)
  • Repeat 12 times.

4. Shoulder blade squeeze: To stretch the chest and strengthen postural muscles

  • Sit straight, place your hands on your knees, and press your shoulder blades together.
  • Hold for 3 seconds while maintaining your shoulders and not bent up near your ears.
  • Release and repeat for12 times

5. Toe taps: For Lower leg strength

    • Raise your feet high enough to feel the muscles around your shins functioning while sitting in the chair with your feet on the floor. (This improves blood circulation in the legs and strengthens the lower leg.)
    • Repeat 20 times.

6. Heel raises: For enhancing the upper calves

    • Sitting in a chair, keep your toes and balls of your feet on the floor and elevate your heels.
    • Repeat 20 times.

7. Knee lifts: For building thigh strength

    • Squeeze your right quad muscles and elevate your leg while sitting in a chair with your arms resting but not pushing on the armrests. Your knee and thigh should be two or three inches off the seat.
    • After 3 seconds, carefully lower your leg.
    • Repeat with the opposite leg after 8 to 12 repetitions.

8. Shoulder and upper backstretch: For opening up the back and shoulders

    • Raise your right arm, so your elbow is at chest height and your right fist is close to your left shoulder.
    • Gently draw your right arm across your chest with your left hand on your right elbow.
    • Hold the position for 30 seconds.
    • Repeat with the other arm.

9. Ankle rotations: Strengthen the calves

    • Lift your right foot off the floor while seated and slowly twist your foot five times to the right and then Five times to the left.
    • Rep with your left foot.


B. Stretch it out

Moving daily will enhance your strength and flexibility and make any daily activity more pleasant. Here are two fundamental stretches for flexibility enhancement:

1. Neck stretch: Reduces stress in the neck and upper back

    • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart on the floor. Keep your hands at your sides, relaxed.
    • As you gently move to the right, don’t tilt your head forward or backwards. When you feel a slight strain, come to a halt. Hold the position for 10 to 30 seconds.
    • Turn to the left now. Hold the position for 10 to 30 seconds.
    • Repeat 3–5 times more.

2. Upper back: Ease stress in the shoulders and upper back

    • Sit in a sturdy chair. Place your feet shoulder-width apart on the floor.
    • Hold your arms out in front of you at shoulder height, hands facing outward and the backs of your hands squeezed together. Relax your shoulder, so they aren’t tense around your ears.
    • Extend your fingers till you feel a strain. Your back will shift away from the chair’s back.
    • Stop for 10 to 30 seconds and hold.
    • Repeat 3–5 times more.


C. Balance boosters

Falling because of ill balance is a significant cause of injury for many seniors. Therefore, including balancing exercises in your fitness routine is critical. Walking on uneven terrain without losing balance is simpler when you do balance exercises like the ones outlined here or an activity like Tai Chi, Yoga, or Kegel exercise. You may practice these balancing exercises multiple times a day, even while waiting in the queue at the bank or grocery store.


Shifting weight

    1. Stand with feet apart, and your bodyweight spread evenly over both feet.
    2. Put your hands at your sides and relax. You may also execute this exercise with a firm chair if you need to grip it for balance.
    3. Lift your left foot just a few inches off the floor and shift your weight to your right side.
    4. Hold for ten seconds, gradually increasing to 30 seconds.
    5. Return to the beginning position and do the same with the other leg.
    6. Repeat three times.
    7. Stand with your feet apart, your hands on your hips or the back of a solid chair for support if necessary.
    8. Bend at the knee and lift your left foot off the floor, bringing your heel midway between the floor and your hips.
    9. Hold for ten seconds, gradually increasing to 30 seconds.
    10. Return to the beginning position and do the same with the other leg.
    11. Repeat three times.
  • Single leg balance
    1. Feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips or the back of a solid chair for support if necessary.
    2. Bend at the knee and lift your left foot off the floor, bringing your heel midway between the floor and your buttocks.
    3. Hold for ten seconds, gradually increasing to 30 seconds.
    4. Return to the beginning position and do the same with the other leg.
    5. Rep thrice.


Benefits of Regular Exercising

Regular workouts can help you gain strength while improving your posture, equilibrium, and coordination. These advantages might lower your chances of falling or colliding with anything and injuring yourself. If you fall down, you may not recover as fast from an injury, so taking precautions is essential. It is critical that seniors feel confident in their mobility patterns so that they are not nervous or scared of falling. According to research, seniors who conducted balancing workouts for six weeks improved their balance and coordination and gained confidence. The exercises also assisted in the improvement of balance, muscular endurance, and ankle mobility. According to other research, exercising can improve the quality of life in seniors. Regular workout aids and enhances mental performance, particularly memory and spatial cognition, in addition to physical advantages such as increased stability. It is advised that seniors should take workouts at least two to three times each week.


When to Consult a Professional

If you need further help, consult a physical therapist. A medical professional can help you create a balancing program and oversee you as you try out each activity. Having someone at your side might give you encouragement and motivation to attempt more challenging workouts. They can ensure that you have an appropriate posture and make the most of each action. They will also urge you to take breaks as required.


A Word of Caution: 

    1. A balancing regimen can benefit elders, but must be approached with prudence.
    2. Use a chair or a wall for added support to avoid falling.
    3. Begin with the basic exercises and work your way up to the more difficult ones.
    4. When necessary, sit down and take a rest.
    5. Before you begin these workouts, stay hydrated and eat something. This will make you feel more centred, especially if you’re worried about feeling lightheaded or dizzy.
    6. Before beginning a new workout program, see your doctor if you are new to workouts or have any worries about your balance.
    7. You should consult your doctor if you have any health problems or have had a stroke.

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These workouts may be done with or without shoes. Shoes provide more grip and support. However, going barefoot helps to develop the muscles that support your feet. Use a workout mat for cushioning and for lessening the possibility of sliding. Find someone that can oversee and help you if at all feasible. You may change the positions as much as you like. You’ll improve your balance with time and be able to go to increasingly more complex versions and workouts.



Should you exercise first thing in the morning?

Doing physical activity the first thing every morning trains your body to expect the same thing every day. It will begin to prepare you for getting up and exercising, many hours before you ever open your eyes. It decreases disorientation caused by erratic wake-up times.


What are the social benefits of exercise?

Exercise has many social benefits, which include:

  1. It increases your dependability.
  2. It boosts your memory.
  3. It assists in adjusting to new environments.
  4. It makes you a more cheerful friend.
  5. It helps in the search for like-minded people.


How can exercise reduce stress?

Exercises of any type or form are effective to relieve stress. Being physically active might increase your feel-good hormones and divert you away from everyday troubles.


How do you stay fit and healthy?

A well-balanced diet is required to sustain a healthy and fit lifestyle. This nourishes your body with all the nutrients it needs every day. A well-balanced diet combined with daily exercise promotes a healthy body weight, an active lifestyle, and a healthy physique.


What food should I eat to get fit?

To stay fit, one should have a balanced diet rich in nutrients required by an ageing body. Foods like milk, dry fruits, sweet potatoes, green vegetables, fresh fruits, nuts, berries, seafood, etc. should be consumed.


What are examples of aerobic exercise?

Cardio machines, spinning, jogging, swimming, strolling, hiking, dance, cross-country skiing, and kickboxing are all examples of aerobic workouts. There are different varieties of aerobic exercises. Aerobic activities can turn anaerobic if conducted at an excessively high degree of intensity.


How does exercise help physically?

Anxiety, tension, and despair may all be alleviated via training. Natural endorphins released through physical activity improve your happiness and energy. Continued exercising regularly helps lose weight and promotes stronger bones and muscles. Physical activity can help you sleep better.


How can I get fit at home?

Body weight workouts may be performed with very little equipment. Pull-ups, push-ups, planks, and leg squats are excellent home workouts. Resistance bands or tubing that create resistance when stretched can be used.


What happens if you don’t exercise?

People who are not physically active have a twofold risk of becoming fat. Anyone, young or old, should be concerned about their health. Obesity is linked to various dangerous ailments, including hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.


What are the benefits of exercise?

Exercise can help reduce blood sugar levels and improve insulin function. It can assist in quitting smoking by lowering cravings and withdrawal symptoms.


Read more:

Breathing and Meditation Exercises for Seniors

The 8 Best TheraBand Exercise for 50+ Seniors

Benefits of Core Exercises for Seniors & 5 Examples