Five Low-Impact Exercise Ideas for the Elderly

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Physical activity is important for everyone, especially for senior citizens. It will help improve your overall energy, boost your memory, and avoid any serious health problems. You can do simple exercises at home using little to no equipment at all.

If you’re moving to an assisted living facility, a senior care advisor will present various opportunities for you to stay active. Regardless of your age, you will reap the benefits of daily exercise. Here are some daily workouts you can do to keep yourself fit and healthy:


Walking for at least 30 minutes every day improves your health and helps you avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Make sure to wear sturdy sneakers and choose an obstacle-free route to avoid strain on your joints and achieve overall body conditioning. Start off with a ten-minute walk, then gradually increase the time and pace.

Here are some health benefits of walking for seniors:

  • Lowers Blood Sugar: Taking a walk after eating can reduce the spike in blood sugar that some seniors experience. It makes you breathe a little harder and your muscles use more glucose. This can reduce your blood sugar levels over time and makes the insulin in your body work better.
  • Improves Heart Health: When you get your heart rate up due to daily physical activity, you’ll have a lower risk of having high cholesterol levels that can lead to heart disease. It also improves your blood circulation to bring more nutrients and oxygen to your organs.
  • Reduces Body Pain: Walking at least three times a week for around 20 minutes can help reduce lower back pain and arthritis. It can also strengthen your back and abdominal muscles to reduce chronic back pain.
  • Improves Mental Health: A daily walk around the neighborhood can make you feel more positive and boost your mood. This is because the endorphins released when you engage in physical activity reduce anxiety and create a sense of well-being.


Swimming is a simple, no-impact workout that can help seniors stay healthy and able-bodied. It improves your posture, reduces your risk of falls, and promotes better mental health. For those who experience joint or back pain, swimming is a great way to strengthen your muscles and avoid strain on your joints.

It also has positive effects on your cardiac health as regular physical activity can lower your blood pressure levels and avoid heart attack and stroke. To make swimming easier and more fun, you can participate in group-based classes or join swimming laps at your local pool. Aside from having many health benefits, it’s a good chance to socialize and meet new people.

Strengthening Exercises

Strength training is for anyone who wants to feel more energetic and healthier. Simple exercises without any special equipment can improve your strength and build your muscles. Remember to start slow and talk to your doctor first if you have hypertension or bad knees before starting any exercise routine.

You can use soup cans, water bottles, or resistance bands for a low-impact way of improving your overall strength. It’s recommended to start with lower body exercises because lower body strength is important for almost all independent movement.


seniors dancing

Dancing classes can help improve your flexibility and circulation. Aside from physical benefits, you also obtain cognitive benefits as your brain processes varied rhythms, sounds, and structures that fire off synapses in your brain.

It also reduces agitation and anxiety as dance movement keeps people engaged. Some anxious seniors move fast to the music as it helps ease their frustration, fear, and other behavioral issues that are associated with dementia. Dance programs are common with seniors as they regulate their mood and improve their overall well-being.

Chair Yoga

Chair yoga helps improve mobility, balance, and muscle strength, which are all crucial for seniors’ health. It’s a more accessible form of yoga that helps improve sleep and puts less stress on joints, muscles, and bones. Here are some great chair yoga exercises for older adults:

  • Overhead Stretch: Start with a seated position, then take a deep breath and slowly stretch your arms upward. Hold the position for a few seconds, then bring your arms back down with a long exhale.
  • Seated Forward Bend: Sit up straight with your knees touching and feet flat on the floor. Take a deep breath, then slowly bend forward as far as you can without any discomfort or strain. Hold this position for a few moments, then return to an upright position.
  • Reverse Arm Hold: Start with a seated position with your back straight, then inhale deeply and reach your arms to your sides at a wide angle. Exhale, then slowly reach your hands behind your back while slightly bending your elbows. Arch your back and feel the stretch in your shoulders, then slowly inhale and exhale.

As we age, maintaining our health is important for our overall well-being. Make physical activity a part of your daily routine to lower your risk of having any physical illness and mental disorders. Even a quick 30-minute moderate activity every day can have long-term benefits for your body, so start with simple ways and get your body moving.

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