Aerobic Exercises for Seniors to Remain Healthy and Active

Learn what exercises are recommended for seniors to stay fit and healthy.
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Last updatedLast updated: November 08, 2022
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Aerobic exercise and a good diet are essential components of a healthy lifestyle. It has no regard for age, but the body’s requirement changes as you age. Studies have shown how regular aerobic exercise positively affects seniors’ health.

Although aerobic exercises benefit seniors, the best aerobic exercise for the elderly should be the one they will want to do continuously.

This article will discuss the benefits of aerobic exercises for seniors and list some types of exercise that will keep seniors healthy and active. Exercises to avoid will also be listed so we do not put the elderly at health risk.

What Are the Benefits of Aerobics for Seniors?

As a senior, maintaining your health and well-being should be paramount, and exercise is an excellent method. Although there are specific concerns regarding seniors exercising, the health benefits outweigh the associated risks. A routine of aerobic exercise for older adults will provide various health advantages. These health benefits include:

Prevent Disease

Maintaining a routine of aerobic exercise can help a senior avoid many diseases common to the elderly. Some of these diseases it prevents are diabetes, heart disease, etc. Engaging in physical activities betters the overall function of the immune system. This is a huge benefit for older adults, as their immune systems are often weakened. Simple exercises such as walking can be effective in preventing diseases.

Mental Health Improvement

Aerobic Exercises for Seniors to Remain Healthy and Active

Aerobic exercise offers enormous mental health benefits, especially to older adults. Physical activity produces a feel-good hormone known as endorphins, and this hormone acts as a stress reliever, keeps you joyful, and gives you a sense of satisfaction. Aerobic exercise for seniors has improved their quality of sleep, especially for those with insomnia.

Reduces Hypertension

Aerobic exercises have proven to help seniors with Hypertension, thereby reducing their blood pressure. Engaging in physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day can undoubtedly lower your blood pressure, reduce stress and lower the risk of cardiovascular issues.

Prevent the risks of Falls

The risk of an elderly falling is higher than a younger person, which can be hazardous, especially for independent older adults. The recovery process for seniors is quite long, so preventing a fall is essential. Frequent exercise reduces this risk and improves the flexibility and strength of the muscles. Therefore exercise helps seniors improve coordination and balance.

Cognitive function

Studies have shown that older adults who engage in physical activity have a lower risk of dementia, even if they begin exercising later. Regular aerobic exercise improves cognitive function.

Engaged in Social Activity

Seniors with a regular aerobic exercise routine have a reduced risk of running into depression or being lonely. This is because, as they exercise, they engage with fellow exercise groups, thereby maintaining social relations and igniting a purposeful life.

Improve Energy Levels

Being an inactive elderly can make you feel weak and open you to other health issues. But aerobic exercises help you get more energy, producing endorphins that are important in eliminating pain and improving your well-being. These endorphins also reduce stress and make you feel more energetic.

Weight Management

Most people venture into exercise because it helps to lose body weight. But it is more beneficial to the elderly because of their slow metabolism. Engaging in older people’s sports and other aerobic exercises for older adults helps to improve muscle mass. This increases metabolism, and more calories are burned, positively enabling weight loss.

Recommended Exercises

Now that we have established how essential exercises are for the elderly, the difficult task you can be charged with is how and where to start. It can be challenging if you haven’t engaged in physical activities for a while, and the type of workout you were accustomed to while you were young may not be not ideal for the elderly.

You can seek advice from your medical specialist to begin routine exercise if you are healthy. And you might get a list of exercises to embark on. But here are a list of recommended aerobic exercise for seniors to keep you healthy and active:

Water Aerobics

Aerobic Exercises for Seniors to Remain Healthy and Active

Water aerobics, also known as hydro aerobics, is a common type of exercise among older adults. Exercising in the water is ideal for seniors with health issues like arthritis and joint pain, and it relieves the stress on the joints through the buoyancy of the water. This exercise also improves strength, flexibility, and balance without bodily stress. Types of water aerobic exercise for seniors include flutter kicking, leg lifts, arm curls, Aqua jogging, and standing water push-ups.

Brisk Walking

Aerobic Exercises for Seniors to Remain Healthy and Active

Brisk walking is an accessible form of aerobic exercise for all persons in different age groups. But it’s more suitable for seniors to improve their strength, balance, and coordination. However, some seniors might find this exercise difficult due to health conditions. But it doesn’t negate the benefits walking gives to the elderly group.

If you are concerned about your health (joint pain or heart disease), you could begin at a lower distance and increase your pace if your health permits. Brisk walking reduces the risk of colon cancer, diabetes, and stroke. And it can also help socially by engaging in walking groups and healthy competition.


Aerobic Exercises for Seniors to Remain Healthy and Active

Research has shown that jogging for seniors has enormous benefits. Here is a 105-Year-Old Athlete that Sets a New World Record in running. This exercise has made her healthy and active, to the extent of winning a race.

Jogging for half an hour can reduce age-related health issues and extend your lifespan. The benefits of jogging include improving heart function, breathing, and strength, among others.

If you are worried about going out for a jog, you can try pedal exercise. You can check out the best pedal exercisers for seniors, one of which includes the YOSUDA Bike Pedal Exerciser. Although it’s not as efficient as jogging, it still helps with the muscles and improves strength.

Chair Aerobics

Aerobic Exercises for Seniors to Remain Healthy and Active

This is a reduced-risk exercise for seniors. It improves flexibility, balance, muscle strength, and mobility. It is the most accessible exercise for seniors that doesn’t stress the joints and muscles more than other exercises. It’s the best aerobic exercise for seniors at home.

Chair aerobics also provides the following benefits for seniors:

  • Improve the mental health of seniors
  • Quality sleep
  • Reduce depression
  • Improve seniors well-being

Aerobic chair exercises for seniors include seated twists, cow stretch, mountain pose, overhead stretch, and seated cat stretch.


Aerobic Exercises for Seniors to Remain Healthy and Active

This was developed over a hundred years ago. It’s as easy as chair aerobic exercise. This form of exercise involves the use of pilates balls, inflated accessories, and mats. They are used to develop strength with lower stress compared with intense exercise. Some pilates exercises for seniors include leg circles, side circles, food slides, and step-ups.

Pilate exercise helps to improve the following:

  • Breathing
  • Balance
  • Flexibility
  • Concentration
  • And develop core strength

Bodyweight Exercises

Aerobic Exercises for Seniors to Remain Healthy and Active

A common issue with older adults is the loss of muscle, which can be wrecking. Aerobic exercises are suitable for keeping your heart healthy, but it’s also vital to maintain or build your muscles. Most seniors live with severe muscle deterioration, leading to several issues regarding hormones and how the body processes protein food.

If you want to avoid health-damaging issues like this, you need to exercise body weight. This helps to develop or counteract the effect of old age on your muscles. It’s affordable, and you can choose the routine that best suits your needs and time. Body weight exercises include:

  • Lying hip bridges
  • Sit-ups
  • Side-lying circles
  • Squats
  • Dumbbells Training

Exercise that develops strength has been shown to eliminate diabetes symptoms, depression, back pain, and osteoporosis and help you lose weight. The dumbbell is the best exercise tool for seniors and improves their strength, and this form of exercise improves your metabolism, balance, and flexibility. Suppose the dumbbells are used with caution. Some workouts you can do with a dumbbell include overhead press, bent-over row, front raise, bicep curl, and tricep extension.

Exercises to Avoid

Most exercises can appear attractive because of the technique or the product of a long period of regular workouts. Some might even catch your eye because of the high bills, but not all these exercises are the best option for older adults. Younger adults might have done such exercises and shed some body weight, developed muscle mass, and improved strength. But the stress and pain it gives more youthful people are usually much, which is not ideal for older adults.

If you are a senior, either at 65 or beyond, you are advised to avoid some strenuous exercises such as:

  • Squats with weight or dumbells
  • Leg press
  • Power clean
  • Rock climbing
  • Deadlift
  • Long-distance running
  • Bench press
  • High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
  • Abdominal crunches
  • Lifting heavy weights.

These physical exercises will cause unhealthy distress in your body and joints. And may cause several health complications. So make sure you stay clear from such exercises.


Any age group can do aerobic exercise, and it’s mainly beneficial to the elderly. It’s not too late to begin a routine of suitable aerobic exercises. Make sure you do a form of aerobic exercise each day, no matter how simple or short it might be. In due time you will begin to get the benefit of your routine.

Ensure to follow a good nutrition schedule to balance your body’s necessities. It will help you gain healthy weight and give you positive satisfaction in your daily living.

Before starting a new exercise routine, you should check with your doctor to make sure your body is healthy enough to adapt to the new changes. If you are a novice on what to do or need help with training, you can get a personal trainer to help you develop a suitable exercise routine.

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